GRANITE CITY - Edwardsville's Ben Perulfi finished in eighth place, while Civic Memorial's Jackson Collman came in seventh and Justice Eldridge was tenth as the Eagles finished fourth and the Tigers eighth in the 49th Pete Robinson/Harry Lang Granite City Invitational Cross Country Meet Saturday morning at Wilson Park in Granite City.

The season's traditional opening meet saw Columbia, Mo., Rock Bridge win the team title with 42 points, while St. Louis University High was second with 71 points, Marion was third with 110 points, CM was fourth with 179 points, O'Fallon was fifth with 189 points, both Waterloo and Highland tied for sixth place with 247 points each, Edwardsville was eighth with 253 points, in ninth place was Triad with 254 points and Mt. Vernon rounded out the top ten with 272 points.

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Among the area teams, Roxana was 22nd with 540 points and Marquette Catholic was 27th with 739 points. Collinsville, East St. Louis, Metro-East Lutheran, the host Warriors, Jersey and East Alton-Wood River also had runners in the race, but did not record a team score.

The Tigers had their first race without both Ryan Watts and Geo Patrylak, who have both graduated, but after the race, head coach George Patrylak was feeling very optimistic about how things could go for this season.

"Obviously, things have been a little bit difficult this season," Patrylak said, "but I left Granite City a little more optimistic about our boys' season."

The Tigers made a rare decision to run their top seven freshman and sophomore runners in the underclass race and went with upperclassmen in the varsity race, with the highlight being Perulfi's eighth place finish, the only Edwardsville runner to finish in the top ten.

"With the varsity race, we wanted to reward our upperclassmen and give them the opportunity to be excellent role models for the freshman-sophomore race," Patrylak said.

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In the freshman-sophomore race, Tiger runners had times that would have made them the second, third and fourth runners for Edwardsville, who's lineup had three runners with varsity experience in 2021. The underclass results paint a very promising picture for the Tigers, indeed.

"Three of the underclass runners in the freshman-sophomore race has times that would have made them our second, third and fourth runners in the varsity race," Patrylak said, "and would have greatly affected the team standings."

The individual winner was Rock Bridge's Ian Kemey, who came in at 14:34.22, with Dylan Nailey of Marion second at 14:38.57, third place went to Andrew Hauser of the Bruins, with a time of 14:47.54, Dylan Ybarra of O'Fallon came in fourth at 15:03.74. Columbia's Ethan Hogan was fifth with a time of 15:15.45, Joe Schwartz of Waterloo was sixth at 15:22.55, Collman was seventh at 15:33.04, Perulfi placed eighth at 15:36.47, Timothy Greiner of the Junior Billikens was ninth at 15:36.67 and Eldridge rounded out the top ten with a time of 15:37.53.

In addition to both Collman and Eldridge, CM had Lucas Naugle in at 16:53.9, D.J. Dutton had a time of 16:58.7, Jacob Cranford was in at 17:36.5 and Joshua Cranford's time was 18:25.0. Highland was led by Dallas Mancinas, who was in at 16:47.3, with Ethan Smith right behind at 16:47.5, Christian Knobloch had a time of 17:00.6, Mason Steinbeck's time was 17:13.4, Avery Brock had a time of 17:22.1, Cole Basden was in at 17:37.9 and Braden Wakeley had a time of 17:45.9.

To go along with Perfulfi, Edwardsville had Scott Baxter in at 17:06.5, Ben Ziobro had a time of 17:10.9, Sam Wittek was clocked at 17:17.1, Kenan Stahm was in at 17:45.5, Alex Uder's time was 18:13.8 and Ridge Batchelor had a time of 18:16.6. Triad's top runner was Andrew Pace, with a time of 16:08.4, while Drew Twyman had a time of 16:19.7, Ben Winslow was in at 16:33.5, Sam Kuckuck was clocked in 17:46.5, Jacob Metcalf was in at 17:52.5, Dalton Mersinger was in at 18:00.1 and Dillon Henderson's time was 18:35.0.

Alton, who came in 11th with 305 points, had as their top runner Noah Gallivan, who had a time of 16:46.7, with Simon McClaine in at 16:55.7, Alex Macias was in at 17:15.0, Victor Humphrey had a time of 17:31.2, Christian Kotzamanis was in at 17:47.1. Jonathan Krafka had a time of 17:57.0 and River Wrishnik came in at 18:22.6. Roxana, who placed 24th with 556 points, saw Nathan Gilbert in at 17:52,7, Wyatt Doyle was clocked in 18:05.5, Anthony Hardin's time was 18:13.0, Hunter Ponce had a time of 18:28.1, Talon Blas was in at 20:02.8 and Aaron Shields had a time of 21:56.8.

Daniel Kline led the Explorers with a time of 19:04.5, Hayden Sherman was in at 20:13.9, Braden Nash had a time of 20:52.7, Josh Kreiitner was in at 20:58.6 and Owen Page had a time of 21:47.4. Collinsville's runners were Andrew Gonski, who was in at 17:04.9, and Brian Castro, who had a time of 18:42.7. The top runner for East Side was Devonte Ellard, who was in at 19:11.2, while Damarlynn Taylor had a time of 21:35.0, Desmond Ryan was clocked in at 22:23.9 and Armonie Jones was in at 22:42.0.

Grayson Ward was the only runner for Metro-East and he had a time of 18:27.4, while Granite had Daniel Wilson in at 18:31.4, Brendan Rayl had a time of 18:53.8 and Ethan Beatty was clocked at 21:53.5. Griffin Williams led Jersey with a time of 17:01.3, with Perrin McCoy in at 20:54.8 and Adam Kribs had a time of 22:26.7. The Oilers were represented by Aiden Loeffelman, who was in at 17:22.0, and Evan Baker, who had a time of 19:42.7.

More like this:

Sep 10, 2019 | Pifer Finishes First, Walter Sixth As Tigers Team Finishes Second at Granite City Invitational

Oct 7, 2021 | Collman Runs Fastest Time Overall, Grandone, Perulfi Lead Way For Tigers In Winning Large School County Cross Country Championship, Eagles Take Small

Oct 25, 2020 | Riley Knoyle Finishes Third, Tigers Advance To Sectional With Third Place Finish In Granite City Regional

Oct 25, 2020 | Ryan Watts Breaks Granite City Course Record, Tigers Place Four In Top 10, Capture Regional Cross Country Meet

Oct 15, 2021 | Patrylak, Watts Go One-Two, Tigers Place Five In Top Ten In Going On To SWC Cross Country Title, Redbirds Finish Fourth, Kahoks Sixth