Waterloo sophomore Jenna Schwartz continued to stake her claim as the top female runner in the metro east on Saturday as she cruised to a 16 second win at the Edwardsville Invitational Cross Country Meet at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
One week after winning the Granite City Invitational. Schwartz went out and finished with a time of 19 minutes 28 seconds on the 5K trek as she defeated Edwardsville freshman Abby Korak for the title. Korak, one of four Tigers runners to place in the top 10, had a time of 19 minutes 44 seconds.
The Tigers, who nipped St. Louis power Nerinx Hall (31-32) for the title also got top 10 finshes from Melissa Spencer (sixth), Abby Schrobilgen (seventh) and Jaycie Huson (ninth). Highland freshman Samantha Hengehold was the only other local athlete placing in the top 10. Hengehold was eighth overall.
Mascoutah (116 points), Litchfield (127) and Carbondale (142) rounded out the top five teams.
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Flowers continues to bloom
Two-time Class 2A all-state runner Ben Flowers of Jerseyville continued his domination of local competition by winning the boys championship. Considered one of the favorites to win the state title in a little over six weeks in Peoria, Flowers finished the 5K course in just over 16 minutes 24 seconds to defeat Kevin Koester of Hillsboro by a full 13 seconds.
Frankie Romano of Edwardsville and Jake Schwartz of Waterloo rounded out the top four runners while Roland Prenzler of Edwardsville placed sixth and Ethan Price of Mascoutah placed ninth. Price is the reigning Belleville News-Democrat Class 2A Runner of the Year.
Edwardsville, which had five runners in the top 15, finished with 51 points. Hillsboro (100), Mascoutah (174), Alton (187) and Champaign Central (194) rounded out the top five teams.