ALTON - Alton's boys freshman and sophomore track and field team had quite a test Tuesday on the Alton High School track and the squad pulled through with some performances that left head coach Jeff White completely enthused.
"Our team was real excited to run at home on our new track in front of their friends, teachers and family," White said. "It's just a great track facility, maybe the best in our conference. This was the kind of meet where we can really shine. We have a lot of underclassmen on our team right now. We use several of them on our varsity relays but its really important for them to run against their own age/class so they can really measure where they are at.
"Our two biggest surprises were our 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays. Our 4 x 100 (Earlie Brown, Terry Walker, Algenon Wilson, Ahmad Sanders) ran 43.45. We did such a good job on handoffs. They can make or break that relay, even at the varsity level. The sooner we improve on those, the better our varsity team will be in the future.
"Our 4 x 400 (Ahmad Sanders, Trey Miller, Algenon Wilson, Terry Walker) improved by nearly nine seconds from Saturday. Ahmad gave us a great lead-off leg at 53.3. Trey Miller improved his split by nearly five seconds. Terry Walker was an absolute beast on anchor improving to a 51.5 split. For a fresh-soph group to hit 3:35 is just an amazing job. This could be a group that really dominates this race in the upcoming years."
White said Algenon Wilson also got a personal record in the 300 meter hurdles, going 41.6.
"He was a terrific hurdler last year in middle school.," White said. "He's really putting it together in the 300's. It's a new race for him as they don't have it in middle school. I'm excited to see how much more he can improve this season."
Redbird sprinter Earlie Brown also continued to show he is one of the region's best sprinters.
"Earlie had two meets in a row hitting low 11's and 22's in the 100 and 200," White said. "I was happy he was able to win both on our own track. He has his sights on the school 200m record (21.6) before he leaves school."
White continued about his weight crew: "I really like what Coach Dickerson is doing with our throwers. We finished first and second last week at Edwardsville's freshman-sophomore meet and second and third at our home meet in the discus. David Weaver and Izeal Terrell are really coming along with learning the technique for good throws.
"Coach Curvey has great work with our distance crew. Freshmen Cassius Havis had another good day in the 1,600 meters (4:44) and the 4 x 800 finished at 9:00 flat. We have some great depth at the fresh-soph level in distance. I like that we are spreading out our points between sprints, relays, distance and throws. We need to emphasize that we are team, not just individuals. It's a total team culture that we are trying to build for the future. Everyone matters and everyone can contribute to Alton's future success."
White said the competition at the Alton Freshman-Sophomore Relays likely rivaled many of the varsity meets that will be held this season with East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Cahokia, Granite City and others participating.

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