O'Fallon senior Lucas Capistrant won the 3,200-meter and the Panthers used their depth to take five relay championships to win the large school division at the O'Fallon Relays on Friday at O'Fallon High School.
One of the top cross country runners in Southern Illinois last fall, Capistrant picked up where he left off with a strong performance. Just one of several solid distance runners on the Panthers' roster, Capistrant finished with a time of 9 minutes, 47.1 seconds as he defeated teammate Will VanAlstine by 32 seconds.
O'Fallon senior Hayden Ybarra placed third in the event as O'Fallon scored 24 of its 157 1/2 points and went on to defeat Rockwood Summit (Missouri) (137 1/2 points) for the team title. The win was the first for O'Fallon coach Joe Speaks, who took over for longtime Panthers head coach Ron Koch, who retired following the 2017 season.
Speaks, an assistant for the past 10 years, was pleased with the effort of his team. He also has more of an understanding of what it takes to run a major invitational meet following the 12-team event.
"As an assistant I don't think I realized everything that went on with running a meet like this. That's probably because (Ron) Koch was so good at it. I thought things went very well and hopefully we'll do even a better job next year,'' Speaks said. "On the track this was probably one of the first good days, weather-wise, that we've had to compete. I think all of the teams took advantage of it.''
Capistrant was the Panthers' only individual champion, but several local individuals also won titles.
Collinsville, which placed third with 119 points, received a win from sophomore Jermarrion Stewart in the 100-meter and Dustin Petty in the shot put. Fourth place Belleville West got a win from Jyriq Boone-Hill in the 300-meter hurdles
Winning titles for fifth place Belleville East were Freddie Waller (high jump), Jerome Williams (long jump) and Doriun Martin in the discus.
Mascoutah wins small school division
Casmir Cozzi won the 3,200-meter to lead the Mascoutah Indians to a 52-point win over Mount Vernon in the small school division of the O'Fallon Relays.
The Indians, who dominated in the relays, won nine events in all as they finished with 192 points, 48 more than runner-up Mount Vernon. Senior Eddie Wilson was the Indians' other individual champion, taking the 100-meter title. The Indians, who won the Class 2A 3,200-meter relay at the Illinois Top Times Meet last week, won seven relays Friday.
Third place Freeburg finished with 125 points and received victories from Zach Pluff in the high jump and Brendan Meng in the long jump.