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GRANITE CITY - The Edwardsville High boys cross country team placed three of its runners in the top ten as the Tigers finished second in the team standings at the Granite City Invitational cross country meet held on Saturday at Wilson Park in Granite City.

St. Louis University High won the meet with 60 points, while the Tigers were second at 96 points, O'Fallon came in third with 103 points, in fourth place was Marion with 189 points, fifth place went to Eureka with 202 points, Civic Memorial was sixth at 208 points, Springfield was seventh with 219 points, Quincy came in eighth with 223 points, Chatham Glenwood was ninth at 270 points and Belleville East rounded out the top ten with 282 points

Freeburg came in 11th with 293 points, with Belleville Althoff Catholic 12th at 326 points, Belleville West was 13th at 342 points, Triad was 14th with 370 points, Steeleville was 15th with 377 points, coming in 16th was Breese Mater Dei Catholic with 388 points, Alton was 17th with 411 points, Highland came in 18th with 421 points, in 19th places was Mascoutah with 423 points and Salem was 20th with 527 points.

Columbia was 21st with 538 points, with Collinsville 22nd at 631 points, Jacksonville was 23rd with 650 points, O'Fallon First Baptist Academy was 24th with 679 points and Trenton Wesclin was 25th with 741 points. East Alton-Wood River, Jersey, Marquette Catholic, Maryville Christian, Metro-East Lutheran and the host Warriors also entered runners in the race, but did not have a team score.

The race went off despite rainy weather early in the morning, and the Tigers found many positives in their first major invitational meet of the season.

"There were really a lot of positives today," said Edwardsville head coach George Patrylak. "We knew we were a little bit shorthanded, we knew we had a few athletes out injured, and families trying to take advantage of the three-day holiday break. so obviously, I thought our top three ran very well. I know that they were hoping for a little bit better finishes, but second place is really not bad at all."

Geo Patrylak who recently committed to Missouri Southern State University, was the top Tiger runner, placing fifth, with Ryan Watts coming in sixth, and both had solid runs.

"With Geo, we lost a little bit of focus in the last mile," Patrylak said, "but his workouts indicated he's a little bit that what he indicated. Ryan ran the way we asked him to, he led (Ryan) Luitjohan the first mile, and he stepped up to help Geo in the last mile of the race. It wound up being a confidence booster for Ryan, and in the situation, we didn't have to ask him to do more than he was capable of."

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The most important thing was that the team, along with the other competing schools and runners, started getting used to being in a big invitational meet, with a mass start instead of the pods that were used in last year's event, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"I think we had a solid performance, finishing in the top ten," Patrylak said. " I think the biggest thing was having our athletes compete in a large invitational. Last year, with the COVID pods, it was easier for the four, five, six, and seven runners to get to the front in their races. It's definitely going to take some time to get used to racing in a normal invitational format, but I would be lying if I said the athletes were satisfied with the outcome of the race."

Civic Memorial Head Cross Country Coach Jake Peal said he was very pleased with his squad's effort at the Granite Invitational.

"To say I'm pumped about the boys race would be an understatement," he said. "Jackson, Justice and Lucas up front look really controlled and confident."

Carbondale's Alex Partlow was the individual winner with a time of 14:42.4, with Byron Jones of East second at 15:15.3, third place went to Quincy's Fiker Rosen at 15:25.0, in fourth place was O'Fallon's Dylan Ybarra at 15:26.2, Patrylak was fifth at 15:37.2, Watts placed sixth with a time of 15:37.7, in seventh place was Joe Schwartz of Waterloo, who came in at 15:38.2, just ahead of eighth-place Jason Copelin of Ft. Zumwalt West of St. Charles County, Mo., at 15:38.3, Luitjohan was ninth at 15:49.4 and SLUH's Justin Glass rounded out the top ten at 15:53.0.

Besides the top three for Edwardsville, Jacob Grandone came in at 16:49.6, Jack Draper had a time of 17:21.5, Ben Perulfi came in at 17:40.6, Alex Uder had a time of 18:19.0 and Braylen Overton was in at 18:20.7.

CM's leading runner was Jackson Collman, who had a time of 16:17.5, with Justice Eldridge coming in at 16:29.6, Lucas Naugle had a time of 16:56.4, D.J. Dutton was timed in 17:28.4, Gabe Roberts came in at 18:01.1, Trevor Kroeschel was in at 18:32.2 and Deacon Anderson had a time of 19:27.3.

Andrew Pace led Triad with a time of 16.10.5, followed by Drew Twyman at 17:09.1, Sam Kuckuck came in at 18:13.9, Jacob Metcalf's time was 18:36.5, Dillon Henderson was timed in 18:41.0 and Ben Winslow's time was 18:44.4.

The Redbirds' leading runner was Christian Kotzamanis, who had a time of 17:24.9, followed by Victor Humphrey, who came in at 17:56.4, Alex Macias had a time of 17:58.3, Parker Mayhew's time was 18:23.8, Jonathan Krafka had a time of 18:35.9 and River Wrishnik came in at 18:50.0.

Collinsville's leading runner was Brock Cunningham at 17:42.9, Evan Heintz had a time of 18:41.3, Alejandro Mendoza came in at 19:18.9, Dylan Mek was in at 21:20.4, Laurentino Martinez had a time of 21:54.1 and David Garcia was in at 24:28.6.

Among the individuals, the leading runner was Jersey's Cole Martinez, who came in at 16:13.1, followed by Granite's Thomas Westbrook at 16:51.7, Aiden Loeffelman of EAWR had a time of 17:22.9, Griffin Williams of Jersey came in at 17:42.3, Sam Yeager of the Warriors had a time of 18:23.5, Cameron Beckett of Maryville Christian was in at 19:07.3, Granite's Daniel Wilson had a time of 19:47.8, teammate Ethan Bailey came in at 20:16.1, Noah Mason of the Oilers had a time of 20:23.2, Marquette's Parker Macias was in at 20:43.9, J.J. Lostutter of Metro-East was clocked in 21:19.3, Josh Kreitner of the Explorers came in at 21:36.2, Jersey's Zane Peterbaugh was in at 21:45.4, Metro-East's Blake Schaper was in at 21:46.1, Marquette's Ryan DeClue was in at 22:59.6, Jared Ury of Maryville had a time of 24:03.9, Louis Maine of Metro-East came in at 30:00.1 and teammate Cody Steele had a time of 30:12.2.

Although the Tigers were shorthanded, things went very well for the team, and are looking ahead to having a full lineup down the road.

"Realistically, on the boys' side, we won't see our full team until Palatine at the earliest," Patrylak said.

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