High School Sports

Epenesa leads Tigers to title at Collinsville Invite

The nation’s top-ranked sophomore discus thrower, Edwardsville’s A.J. Epenesa continued his amazing season by recording a personal-best throw of 194-feet, 3-inches on Saturday to lead the way as the Tigers roared to the team title at the Collinsville Boys Invitational Track and Field Meet.

Already with a top throw of 187-2 , Epenesa shattered the meet mark of 190-5 by Andrew Ellison of Lebanon in 2011. Ellison went on to win the Class 1A state championship.

A three-sport standout and considered one of the top football prospect in the Class of 2017, Epenesa’s throw is the best in Illinois this season and is the seventh-best throw in the nation according to dyestat.com.

But Epenesa wasn’t the only Edwardsville standout to shine at Collinsville, as Edwardsville ended the undefeated season of four-time Class 2A state champion Cahokia by a seven-point margin.

Edwardsville finished with 130 1/2 points, while Cahokia was second with 123 points. Chicago area power (LaGrange) Lyons Township was third with 60. It was followed by Collinsville (48 1/2) and O’Fallon (41).

Taking advantage of the absence of Cahokia’s Ja’ari Ward, who owns the nation’s No. 1 ranking in the long jump and triple jump, earned wins in those events as Fontez Davis took the long jump with a leap of 23-3 1/2 while an effort of 43-10 1/2 earned a triple jump title for the Tigers’ Devonte Tincher.

Ward, who rolled his ankle at a recent meet, did not participate having received permission to attend his brother LaDerrick Ward’s graduation at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

La’Derrick Ward is one of the top NCAA Division I long jumpers in the nation.

Also winning titles for the Tigers were Brydon Groves-Scott in the 3,200 meters (9 minutes, 43.10 seconds) and Wes Schoenthal in the 1,600 (4:15.91). Edwardsville also won the 400 and 3,200 relays.

Cahokia’s individual wins came from Korrion Session in the 300 hurdles (40.31) and 110 hurdles (14.68) and from Keveion Akins in the 200 (22.29). The Comanches also won the 800 and 1,600 relays.

Other local winners included Ethan Snow of Columbia in the high jump (6-3), Adam Nelson of Triad in the 100 (10.93) and Tyler Higgins of Highland in the 400 (48.92).

Contact reporter Dean Criddle at dcriddle@bnd.com or 618-239-2661.