EDWARDSVILLE - Alton track runners Christian Kotzamanis and John Krafka proved to be a very lethal one-two punch for the Redbirds in the 800-meter runs this past track and field outdoor season.

On Apr. 23 at the Winston Brown Invitational meet in Edwardsville, Krafka came in third with a time of 2:03.81, while Kotzamanis was right behind in fourth at 2:05.29. Then, in the Southwestern Conference meet at Edwardsville on May 11, Kotzamanis had a time of 2:04.84, while Krafka came in at 2:05.26. Both have been coming close to running sub-two-minute times in the event.

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For their efforts on the track this season, both Kotzamanis and Krafka have been named the Auto Butler male Athletes of the Month for their school.

Kotzamanis and Krafka, who run for head coach Jeff White, both set personal records in the 800 recently and both felt they ran well on the day.

"I think I did alright," Kotzamanis said as part of a joint interview conducted during the meet. "I lost in the last race, but altogether, I'm ready for the next race."

"I thought we ran really well, both of us," Krafka said. "I think we really push each other to get good times and it was a good day altogether. We have a lot more left."

Krafka felt that he's been having a good, consistent season and is looking ahead to the stretch run.

"So far, it's been pretty good," Krafka said. "It's been pretty consistent, but looking forward to these last few meets. I'm hoping to get my times down. I'm really confident that both of us can do that. I think it'll be a good rest of the year."

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Kotzamanis expressed similar thoughts towards the season so far and also is really glad to have Krafka by his side in races.

"I mean, really good," Kotzamanis said. "Every time we race together, we push each other, like he said. With racing against each other, we always race better. It's good to have somebody right there."

The teammates exchanged playful banter as well and Kotzamanis is hopeful of good things happening to the both of them as the season winds down.

"I'm hoping to drop my time down a couple of more seconds," Kotzamanis said, "get closer to breaking two (minutes). If breaking two, if I can do it, that's what I'm working towards."

Krafka is also confident of breaking two minutes in the 800 meters as well.

"Yeah, I'm super excited," Krafka said. "I'm really confident that on a good day, we run well, I think we have a great shot at breaking two. And some good miles times, as well."

Krafka also feels that the Redbirds team improved all season and will be a team to be reckoned with in the future.

"I think Alton's going to be looking pretty good these next two years," Krafka said. "We have a really good team and it's all coming together."

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be proud of. Please join us in congratulating these young athletes. Riverbender.com wishes you continued success in your futures!

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