BELLEVILLE - Senior Malik Allen made Edwardsville boys track history on Saturday by breaking the triple jump record, a mark that was set back in 1982 and was the oldest record currently on the board, by going 15.01 meters as the Tigers won the Norm Armstrong Invitational track meet Saturday at Belleviille West's Bob Goalby Field.

Edwardsville took the team title in the 31-team field, one of the biggest meets in the state and area, with 75 points, beating out second place Naperville Central, who had 67 points. O'Fallon was third with 49 points, Chicago Kenwood came in fourth at 47 points, and the host Maroons rounded out the top five with 43 points. East St. Louis was seventh at 40 points, Triad came in 10th with 29 points, Civic Memorial finished 17th with 16 points, one ahead of 18th place Alton, who had 15 points, and Collinsville was 24th with eight points. Granite City also competed, but did not score.

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The Norm Armstrong meet is generally the first big meet of the year in the area, attracting some of the best talent in the state, and this year didn't disappoint either. Edwardsville was very well prepared, and the chance to compete outdoors was very appealing, indeed.

"Yeah, It's nice to get outdoors," said Tigers head coach Chad Lakatos. "We've had a rough indoor season, and this is the first meet we've put all the big names from last year into a meet. So, it's a good feeling to come into a meet, knowing you've got that lineup."

The meet is also a good measuring stick to see how much progress has been made, and to also see where the weak spots are and what to work on.

"This is a huge meet for us," Lakatos said. "A lot of great competition comes down from Chicago, teams that we, unfortunately, we don't get to see throughout the season. So it's a good barometer to see where we're at at this points, and obviously, there's a lot of season left, but it's a great start for us. The weather's cooperating, it's getting warmer for us. So yeah, we still have some good things left on the track, so we're excited to see where we end up in the team standings."

It was a big accomplishment for Allen to break the long-standing school record in the triple jump, at just over 49 feet, the oldest record at Edwardsville High.

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"Yeah, that record's been in the back of his head for a long time," Lakatos said, "leaving the state meet just off that mark. His first two jumps actually could have surpassed the 15.01, which is 49 (feet) 3 and some change (inches). That record, 42 years old, it's our oldest school record, outdoor record, that is, and it's nice to get that off his back going into the rest of the season, where he doesn't have to worry about that mark."

Lakatos has one very simple, but big, goal in mind for the team this season.

"Just continue to do well," Lakatos said. "We're good in the jumps, we're good in the throws. If we can continue to come out in the field events with some strong points, and we're going to be strong in the track. It's a nice combination that we have this year. And understand, this is not the state meet. We can't get too excited or too down on any mistakes that we might have made. I like where we are right now; we're still midway through the meet. We'll see some other performances, and hopefully, those do well. Jaydon Cole came, and he was an all-stater last year, went 22' 2" and won the long jump. So, that's a big mark for him, great for his confidence moving into the outdoor season."

It was indeed a monumental day for the Tigers in the jumping events, as Allen's new school record 15.01 meters won the triple jump, and Cole's leap of 6.76 meters took the win in the long jump, with Gino Montgomery third in the triple jump at 13.77 meters, and Jacob Wahl placing 11th in the long jump at 6.36 meters. Eli Gilmore cleared 3.56 meters to finish 13th in the pole vault, Devyon Hill-Lomax came in fourth in the high jump, going over at 1.85 meters. In the throwing events, Iose Epenesa won the discus throw with a distance of 52.32 meters, with teammate Dalton Brown coming up with a toss of 41.21 meters. Epenesa finished fourth in the shot put with a toss of 15.56 meters, with James McAdams coming up with a throw of 13.01 meters.

In the sprints, Zach Lane broke 11 seconds in the 100 meters, having a time of 10.97 seconds, finishing ninth, while Clayton Lakatos having a time of 21.95 seconds to finish third in the 200 meters, with Kaylon Bursey coming in at 22.83 seconds. Darren Wilson had a time in the 400 meters of 52.70 seconds.

In the 800 meters, Austin Yamnetz came in at 2:04.99. while Hugh Davis' time was 2:08.97. Colin Thomas had a time in the 1,600 meters of 4:39.12, while Colin Luitjohan was in at 4:48.34. In the 3,200 meters, the Tigers' Gavin Rogers had a time of 9:44.46 to finish sixth, while Ben Perulfi was in at 9:58.78.

In the hurdles races, Chris Malone's time in the 110 meters was 18.78 seconds, while Brandon Houston was in at 20,96 seconds. In the 300 meters, Kaden Wilson came in at 44.38 seconds, while Malone had a time of 45,17 seconds. In the relays, the 4x100 meters team finished second at 42. 36 seconds, while the 4x200 meter team of Bursey, Lakatos, Kellen Brnfre, and Steve Moore won the race at 1:28.93, the 4x400 meter team was in at 3:34.71, and in the 4x800 meters, the Tigers finished seventh at 8:34.71. Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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