High School Sports

Panthers breeze to title at own O’Fallon Girls Invite

O’Fallon seniors Angela Buch and Tami Cardenas scored impressive wins in the 1,600 and 800 meters, respectively, to lead a dominating performance as the Panthers romped to an easy victory on Friday at the O’Fallon Girls Track and Field Invitational

Only two days removed from defeating Southwestern Conference rivals East St. Louis and Edwardsville at the Edwardsville Tigers Relays, the Panthers displayed their depth with another strong effort as they got the better of eight teams to post an 129-point win over Edwardsville. O’Fallon finished with 251 points, compared to 122 for Edwardsvile.

Following the win, veteran coach Neil James said he wasn’t concerned with competing for the second time in three days.

“We saw this coming and so we kind of backed off in practice the last couple of days. Plus, we’ve got just one meet next Thursday and then only one the following week on Wednesday, so we’ll give the kids the weekend off and start to get back at it next week. Plus we moved some kids around and gave some others who normally don’t get the opportunity the chance to compete tonight.

“I really liked what I saw. We had a bunch of personal-bests tonight. it was a very good team effort.’’

O’Fallon also dominated in the relays, winning three of four races.

Other individual winners for O’Fallon were Mya Watson-Blake (high jump), Nautica Lockett (long jump), Mackenzie Ryan (triple jump), Noelle Gilster (3,200), Tanya Houston (100) and Kersten Douglas (200).

“Our young sprinters looked really sharp tonight,’’ James said. “The thing about them is that they are mostly sophomores, but since all of them competed last year they have a lot of experience.’’

Among the other local winners were Claire Buck and Allison Richter of Triad. Buck won the pole vault while Richter won the discus. Edwardsville’s lone win came from Autumn Harris in the 100 hurdles.

Granite City got wins from Robyn Pointer in the 400 and Fonda Clark in the 300 hurdles.

Comanches win

With Ja’Mari Ward getting a rare night off in the individual events, senior Kevieon Akins and the rest of the Cahokia Comanches picked up the slack as the four-time defending Class 2A state champions rolled to the title at Granite City Boys Track and Field Invitational.

Ward, who shattered the long jump and triple jump records at the Norm Armstrong/Belleville West Invitational a week ago, competed only twice — running on the Comanches winning 400 and 3,200 relays.

But with the swift Akins taking the 400 in 48.96 seconds, then winning the 200 in a close race with Madison standout Andre McGill, the Comanches barely broke a sweat as they defeated Belleville West for the title.

Cahokia finished with 187 points while Southwestern Conference powers West (122) and Edwardsville (94) rounded out the top three.

With Ward sitting out, Quantez Miller and Anthony McRoberts more than picked up the slack. Miller won the long jump with a leap of 21-feet, 2-inches. McRoberts took the triple jump with an effort of 43-10.

Daniell Akins closed out Cahokia’s wins in the field events, getting off a throw of 56 feet in the shot put.

The Comanches’ Korrion Session (110 hurdles) and Keondre Wells (300 hurdles) also came out on top as did Chris Stanley in the 400.

Second-place Belleville West got a win from Ricky Nelson in the discus (168 feet) and Austin Blakeslee in the pole vault (13 feet). Wes Schoenthal won the 1,600 for third-place Edwardsville.

McGill won the 100 in 10.98 seconds to lead the way for Madison. Cole Rodenberg of Waterloo ran a 9:49 to win the 3,200.