Cahokia senior Korrion Session gets a little upset when he keeps hearing that the Comanches’ success in track and field is based on talent and talent alone.
A member of three of Cahokia’s four straight Class 2A state championship teams, Session knows better.
“It’s a team effort. A lot of people think our success is because we’re African-Americans and that we win on pure talent. That’s not the case at all,” Session said. “The coaches push us hard in practice and we respond by working hard and performing well when it’s time to do so.’’
And in case anybody forgot, the Comanches showed what a lot of hard work and talent can do as they breezed to the team title at the Class 2A Triad Sectional on Thursday at Triad High School.
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Session won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and the Comanches captured all four relays as they romped to the team title in the 19-team event.
One of the Comanches top individuals, Session nipped Greyson Moehrs of Waterloo in the 110 hurdles final, finishing with a time of 14.6 seconds. Session then finished his night with a sparking time of 39.44 in the 300 hurdles.
Senior Keveion Akins won the 200 and junor Ja’Mari Ward, competing for the first time in two weeks, won the triple jump for the Comanches’ other individual championships.
In all, Cahokia will advance14 individuals and four relays to the Class 2A state track meet, May 29-30 at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
The 18 qualifiers in all make the Comanches the odds-on favorite for a fifth straight title next week and were the exact number that coach Leroy Millsap thought his team would advance on what turned out to be a chilly night at Triad High School
“I was hoping for maybe another athlete in the long jump, but we got the kids out we expected to get out,” Millsap said. “It was a good night. We’re leaving here healthy and we’re excited and looking forward to next week.
“Keveion (Akins) didn’t have a good 100 meters, but he came back and ran well in the 200 meters and Ja’Mari (Ward) did what he needed to do — he qualified.
But not without a few anxious moments in the triple jump.
Ward, coming back after rolling his right ankle at a meet in Clayton (Mo.)earlier this season, took one jump in the long jump — placing second with a leap of 21-feet, 9-inches. An hour later after fouling on his first two attempts in the triple jump, he landed a leap of 46-8 to win the competition.
Ward then ran on both the Comanches 400 and 800 relays, which posted impressive wins.
“Still a little sore. It will be all right,’’ Ward said about the right ankle injury. “Am I disappointed with how I jumped? Not at all. The goal was to qualify for state and I did that. It will be better next week.’’
Waterloo had a pair of champions — Cole Rodenberg in the 3,200 and Lance Mueller in the 1,600. The Bulldogs also qualified in the 3,200 relay.
Mississippi Valley Conference runner-up Triad got a championship from Adam Nelson in the 100, as he edged Akins in the final. The Knights also advanced in the 800 and 1,600 relays.
“I think he (Nelson) can be top five at state next week in the 100 meters. He looked very strong tonight,’’ Knights coach Brian Weiss said. “He could have also made it in the 200 meters, but he’s a team guy and with him in the 1,600-meter relay we feel like we’ve got a great chance to medal.
“So instead of maybe him earning a medal in the 200, he made the decision to run in the 1,600 meter relay, where we could have seven kids earn medals. That’s the type of team player Adam Nelson is.’’
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.W