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EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville girls track team put together a great all-around performance to take the team title at the Southern Illinois Relays meet Friday afternoon at Edwardsville High's Winston Brown Track Center.
The Tigers scored 128.5 points to win the meet, with Belleville West a distant second with 89 points, O'Fallon finished third with 83 points, East St. Louis came in fourth at 71 points, Alton was fifth with 53.5 points, Rock Island was sixth at 50 points, Mascoutah was seventh with 43 points, Belleville East came in eighth at 35 points, Granite City was ninth with 29 points and Collinsville finished 10th with 21 points.
The Relays was the first big outdoor meet of the new season and was being ran for the first time since 2019, having been cancelled for the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tigers performed very well, gaining many second and third place finishes that build up the point total greatly.
"I'm good," said Edwardsville head coach Camilla Eberlin. "The girls are really doing good, they're working hard there. We've come up with a lot of those seconds and thirds, and that's what you've got to do sometimes to pull those meets and it has been a good meet so far. The sun's been shining, so that's good too."
And after all the mess that was caused by the pandemic, Eberlin agreed it was great to be back out after having missed the meet the past two seasons.
"It is," Eberlin said. "Last year, we got to be outside quite a bit, which was nice. But just to get back to this little relays, which we hadn't had for two years, is exciting to see this many people at our track back. It's a good feeling."
Many of the Tiger athletes stood out in their events, and Eberlin had very good words for two of her hurdlers.
"(Sydnee Campbell) took third in the 100 hurdles, then she took second in the 300 hurdles," Eberlin said, "and one with Blakely Hockett, a freshman. So Sydnee's a senior and Blakely's a freshman and Blakely took second in the 100s and third in the 300. So they just flipped places. It's good. And then, we had Paige Sanders fall in fifth place in the 100 meters and then, our relays have been competing in every one of them."
The Redbirds also had good performances in their events, and head coach Jada Moore was very happy at the showings as well.
"I'm feeling really good," Moore said with a smile. "I got a first place in the sprint medley relay, I got a first place in the 100 meter dash. We got a lot of points in different places I didn't expect, so with us being such a small team, it's good to see the girls competing today. We were really small last year, but I've got a few more girls this year and they are really ready to compete this year."
Senior sprinter Renee Raglin is expected to be the Redbirds' top athlete this year, and both her and Moore have very high expectations this season, not just competing in the IHSA Class 3A state meet, but winning as well.
"That's the plan," Moore said with a smile. "We're going to keep working, we're going to be giving her workouts so she can be a state champion. That's the goal."
As with everyone else, Moore was very happy to be back outside with her team and competing in a normal meet as the season is now officially underway.
"It's so refreshing to be able to back out here," Moore said. "We haven't had this meet in two years, so it feels good to be getting back to normal without COVID. We have the masks, it just feels good to getting back to what things were."
Raglin won the 100 meters with a time of 12.57 seconds, with Sanders coming in fifth at 13.49 seconds, the Flyers' Bailey Graham was seventh at 13.74 seconds, with teammate Ambrasha Lampley eighth at 13.80 seconds. Alyiah Curry of the Tigers had a time of 15.07 and Granite's Samir Elliott was clocked in 16.04 seconds. Janaysia Byrd of East Side took the 100 meter hurdles at 15.23 seconds, with Hockett second at 17.63 seconds, Campbell third at 18.18 seconds, Jada Thomas of the Flyers fifth at 19.50 seconds, the Redbirds' Saniya Clemons came in sixth at 19.92 seconds and Kyla Gerhardt of the Warriors was seventh at 20.23 seconds.
In the 300 meter hurdles, Janaysia Byrd of Belleville West won at 50.06 seconds, with Campbell second at 50.86 seconds, Hockett came in third at 51.12 seconds, the Redbirds' Jada Bruce was fifth at 56.02 seconds, Jada Radford of the Flyers was seventh at 58.06 seconds, Gerhardt came in at 1:02.35 and Granite teammate Ameerlya Lambert was timed in 1:06.16. The 1,600 meters went to Alyssa Elliott of the Maroons at 5:41.35, with the Tigers' Madison Strotheide second at 5:52.17, teammate Arabella Ford was sixth at 6:03.84, Sophie Paschel of the Redbirds came in eighth at 6:06.16 and Rowan Wallace of the Warriors was in at 8:06.02.
In the relay races, the Maroons won the 4x100 race with a time of 49.54 seconds, with the Redbirds coming in third at 51.84 seconds, the Flyers were fifth at 53.42 seconds, the Tigers were eighth at 56.99 seconds and the Warriors came in at 59.72 seconds. The 4x200 race was won by East Side at 1:51.92, with Edwardsville third at 1:54.93 and Granite sixth at 1:59.61. Edwardsville took the 4x400 meter race at 4:22.77, with East St. Louis second at 4:29.58 and Alton eighth at 5:23.12. The 4x800 meter relay saw O'Fallon win at 10:02.45, with Edwardsville second at 10:22.49, Granite City fourth at 11:35.88 and East Side seventh at 12:30.59. In the 800 meter sprint medley relay, the winners were Alton at 2:00.18, East St. Louis second at 2:01.57 and Edwardsville fifth at 2:04.74. In the 4,000 meter distance medley relay race, O'Fallon won with a time of 12:55.12, with Edwardsville second at 13.05.86, Granite third at 15:00.72 and East Side seventh at 17:10.26.
In the field events, Jayda Duke of the Redbirds won, going over at 1.47 meters (four feet, nine-and-three-quarter inches), with Dallas Jenkins of the Tigers tying for second with Ella McDonald of Mascoutah at 1.42 meters (four feet, seven-and-three-quarters inches), Jenkins taking second on the fewest misses tiebreak, Edwardsville Kaitlyn Morningstar, Bruce, Lauryn Fenoglio of Granite and Taylor Miller of O'Fallon all tied for fourth at 1.37 meters (four feet, six inches), with Bruce coming out on top of the group on the fewest misses tiebreak. Ava Dietz of Rock Island won the pole vault at 2.15 meters (seven feet, one-half inch), with Edwardsville's Emilie Fry second at 2.00 meters (six feet, six-and-three-quarters inches). Sanders won the long jump with a distance of 15 feet, nine inches, with Janiyah Brown of the Flyers second at 15 feet, eight inches, Grace Carter of the Redbirds was fifth at 15 feet, two-and-a-half inches, Alyssa Posten of the Warriors had a leap of 14 feet, three inches, Alton's Khaliyah Goree came up with a jump of 14 feet, one inch, Edwardsville's Karli Barton went 14 feet even, Jade Williams of the Warriors had a jump of 12 feet, eight-and-a-half inches and East Side's Daja Coleman went 11 feet, 11-and-a-half inches.
Tori King of the Maroons won the triple jump with a leap of 33 feet even, with Imani Box of the Flyers going 27 feet, three inches and Posten going 26 feet, seven-and-a-quarter inches. Desire' Pool of the Flyers won the shot put with a throw of 11.35 meters (37 feet, three inches), with Jenkins finishing second at 10.14 meters (33 feet, three-and-a-quarter inches), Karen Willaredt of the Warriors was seventh at 9.47 meters (31 feet, one inch), Sarah Brase of Edwardsville had a throw of 8.30 meters (27 feet, two-and-three-quarters inches), Berlynn Clayton of the Redbirds had a toss of 8.24 meters (27 feet, one-half inch), Caliyah Nelson of the Flyers had a throw of 7.67 meters (25 feet, two inches), Alyssa Lewis of the Redbirds came up with a toss of 7.29 meters (23 feet, 11 inches) and Granite's Chloe West had a throw of 6.98 meters (22 feet, 11 inches). Finally, in the discus throw, Poole won the event with a throw of 38.41 meters (126 feet even), with Willaredt coming in second at 32.79 meters (107 feet, seven inches), third place went to Morningstar at 32.72 meters (107 feet, four inches), Jenkins place fifth at 28.90 meters (94 feet, 10 inches), Clayton came up with a toss of 19.26 meters (63 feet, two inches), teammate Izabel Gernigin-Miller had a throw of 18.72 meters (61 feet, five inches), Nelson had a toss of 14.06 meters (46 feet, one inch) and the Warriors' Lily Cockrum came up with a throw of 14.01 meters (45 feet, 11 inches).
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