EDWARDSVILLE – Alton's boys track team finished with 53 points in Tuesday evening's Southwestern Conference Boys Track and Field Championship at Edwardsville's Winston Brown Track and Field Complex, but Redbird coach Jeff White was looking at the big picture on the day.

“We were pretty happy with what we came to do today,” White said. “We weren't attempting to win conference today; we were looking ahead to next week (to next Thursday's IHSA Class 3A Moline Sectional meet), trying to get our guys to where we think they should be and then see how they compete against these (Southwestern Conference) teams.

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“If we can do well at our conference and our sectional, we'll do well at state.”

Edwardsville won the team title with 160 points, ahead of East St. Louis (132.5), O'Fallon (88), Collinsville (67.5), Belleville East (67), Granite City and Belleville West (60 each), followed by the Redbirds; the Tigers also won the team junior varsity crown with 193 points, followed by the Flyers (127), Panthers (113), Kahoks (72), Maroons (58), Redbirds (36), Lancers (29) and Warriors (five).

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Kalen Samuelton highlighted the Redbird effort on the day, taking third in both the shot put and discus throw behind both Edwardsville's A.J. Epenesa and Bruce Wachowski; Samuelton had tosses of 51-11.5 in the shot and 152-0 in the discus. “He had a personal record in the shot,” White said. “He's come along and his main event is the discus; he got third in both, so that was great.

“Our (4x800 relay) did well coming back from the Collinsville Invite on Saturday; that's only a couple of days rest and we think they raced really well. They got second (the team of Kelvin Cummings, Evan Rathgeb, Cassius Havis and Arie Macias covering the distance in 8:09.10, behind only East St. Louis); the (4x400 relay) ran really great; our anchor, Terry Walker, ran a great 50.7 anchor leg for us. That was great (with the team of Ahmad Sanders, Cummings, Macias and Walker finishing second to the Flyers in 3:26.10).”

“The weather was great; it was a little hot in the beginning (with temperatures in the low 80s and plenty of sunshine); we've got to get used to it. It's May, but it was too cold in April.”

Next up is the Moline Sectional, and White knows there's still plenty of work ahead for the Redbirds. “We've got a lot of work to do in nine days,” White said. “We've got some things to polish up, but we're really happy with our 4x8, 4x1 and 4x4; that's what we're looking at for the sectional and they ran pretty well today.”

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