A.J. Epenesa won both the shot put and discus in the Madison County Meet on Thursday, setting a record in the discus. (Photo by Brent Feeney)

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Dan Powell pours it on in a race for the Tigers on Thursday. (Photo by Brent Feeney)EDWARDSVILLEEdwardsville's track program, at least in Madison County, is the gold standard to which other high school track programs strive to be.

The Tigers' dominance was confirmed once again at Thursday's Madison County large-school Track and Field Championship meets at Edwardsville's Winston Brown Complex; the Tiger boys and girls took decisive victories in the meet, with the Tiger boys taking their eighth straight county championship and the girls winning the meet for the 16th year in a row; the last wins for schools other than Edwardsville was 2008 on the boys side and 2000 on the girls side.

On the boys' side, Edwardsville scored 161 points to win going away, with Collinsville second at 111 points; Alton was third at 92, Granite City fourth at 77, Triad fifth at 75 and Highland sixth at 35. The Tiger girls amassed 177 points to Alton's 120, followed by Granite City at 79, Triad at 76, Highland at 51 and Collinsville at 46.

“Our goal coming into the Madison County meet is to put our kids into a position to win it,” said Tiger boys coach Chad Lakatos. “This is the eighth year in a row we've won it and the kids are starting to put up times that we thought we could have at the beginning of the season.

“There's still room for improvement, but A.J. (Epenesa) looked good in the throws and he had a big PR in the shot put and had another meet record in the discus; Justin White had a good long jump, Travis Anderson looked really good in the 110 (hurdles) and got a lifetime PR there. We had a good day and some great weather and it was the last time for our seniors to compete here at home, so I'm pleased overall with our performance.”

Anderson won the 110-meter high hurdles in 13.95, breaking a long-standing meet record. Epenesa won the shot (56-4) and discus (191-5) in a meet record. Edwardsville’s Desmond Chappel was second (54-4). White won the long jump with a leap of 21-0. The Tigers’ Devonte Tincher won the 200 (22.4).

The final race of the day – the boys 4x400 relay – turned into a classic stretch duel between Alton and Granite City when the Warriors' Will O'Keefe, running the anchor leg, ran down the Redbirds' Ronald Gilchrese down the backstretch and held him off to help Granite win the event. To Redbird boys coach Jeff White, the duel was a sign of how strong track and field is in Madison County.

“Madison County is no joke” when it comes to having strong track and field teams, White said. “Edwardsville's fantastic, Triad, Granite City's strong this year, Collinsville has some tough teams, Highland – it's a tough meet. There's no gimmes in Madison County; we're running fresh, they feel great, look great running, holding their form at the end of the race.

“We're going to pull together here right at the end of the season.”

“That was great” seeing O'Keefe coming from behind to help the Warriors win the 4x400, felt Warrior coach Tom Miller, “especially he ran the (3,200 meters) at the beginning of the meet and then had a long time between that and the 4x4. He did a good job warming up and getting ready; we were worried about him not being ready and he really was.

“There's not many people who can win a two-mile and then come from behind and win the 4x4.”

Full boys meet results are below:


HIGH JUMP: Torrey Deal, Granite City, second (6-2)


POLE VAULT: Jackson Warrer, Edwardsville, third (11-0); Wilyonde Bell, Granite City, fifth (10-0); Kristian Nicard, Granite City, eighth (9-0)


LONG JUMP: Justin White, Edwardsville, third (21-0); Rodney Smith, Edwardsville, fifth (19-9); Marquis Shaw, Granite City, eighth (17-11)


TRIPLE JUMP: Levon Hendricks, Edwardsville, first (43-4); Jonathan Bumpers, Alton, fourth (42-3); Torrey Deal, Granite City, fifth (41-8); Kiondray Samuelton, Alton, sixth (39-5); Marquis Shaw, Granite City, seventh (38-0); Jack Townsend, Edwardsville, 11th (35-7)


DISCUS THROW: A.J. Epenesa, Edwardsville, first (191-5; meet record – previous mark, Epenesa – 180-11, 2015); Bruce wachowski, Edwardsville, second (147-2); Zach Llewellyn, Alton, third (145-6); Kalen Samuelton, Alton, fourth (142-3); Steve Jenkins, Granite City, fifth (126-11); Nathan Gassett, Granite City, eighth (107-2)


SHOT PUT: A.J. Epenesa, Edwardsville, first (56-4); Desmond Chappel, Edwardsville, second (54-4); Zach Llewellyn, Alton, third (51-11.5); Myles Marfell, Alton, fourth (46-3); Steve Jenkins, Granite City, fifth (43-1); Dominic Sandella, Granite City, 11th (35-8)

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4X800 RELAY: Edwardsville, first (8:46.59); Granite City, second (8:51.20); Alton, fourth (9:20.95)


4X100 RELAY: Edwardsville, first (42.40); Alton, second (43.28); Granite City, fourth (45.00)


3,200 METERS: Will O'Keefe, Granite City, first (9:47.59); Franky Romano, Edwardsville, second (10:20.77); Evan Rathgeb, Alton, fourth (10:38.93); Sam McCormick, Edwardsville, fifth (10:51.27); Aidan Simpson, Granite City, seventh (11:40.22)


110 HURDLES: Travis Anderson, Edwardsville, first (13.95; meet record – previous mark, Rodney McMullin, Edwardsville – 14.16, 1984); Deval Torres, Edwardsville, fourth (15.37); Tyler Tindall, Granite City, sixth (16.87); Jordan Smith, Granite City, eighth (18.48)


100 METERS: Devonte' Tincher, Edwardsville, second (11.12); Tony Dobbins, Alton, fourth (11.28); Seth Jacobs, Edwardsville, fifth (11.35); Wilyonde Bell, Granite City, sixth (11.49); Dane Hudson, Alton, seventh (11.62); Eugene Williba, Granite City, eighth (11.70)


800 METERS: Arie Macias, Alton, second (2:02.39); Ron Allen, Granite City, third (2:04.27); Jacob Schoenthal, Edwardsville, fifth (2:07.20); Alexander Davis, Alton, sixth (2:08.29); Cameron Johnston, Edwardsville, ninth (2:16.40); Kariem Ali, Granite City, 12th (2:30.12)


4X200 RELAY: Alton, first (1:30.55); Edwardsville, second (1:31.53); Granite City, fifth (1:35.73)


400 METERS: Tommy Giacobbe, Edwardsville, second (52.17); Jayden Singleton, Alton, seventh (1:02.75)


300 HURDLES: Juwan Riggins, Granite City, second (41.01); Jonathan Bumpers, Alton, third (41.25); Chrys Colley, Edwardsville, fourth (42.04); Tyler Tindall, Granite City, eighth (47.79)


1,600 METERS: Andrew O'Keefe, Granite City, first (4:38.51); Daniel Powell, Edwardsville, second (4:42.27); Kelvin Cummings, Alton, third (4:47.73); Leo Nikonowicz, Granite City, fifth (4:48.28); Max Hartmann, Granite City (4:53.27); Zak Wilson, Alton, 10th (5:13.20)


200 METERS: Devonte' Tincher, Edwardsville, first (22.24); Dane Hudson, Alton, third (23.33); Simeon Brown, Alton, fourth (23.36); Kendall Abdur-Rahman, Edwardsville, fifth (23.82); Eugene Williba, Granite City, seventh (24.15)


4X400 RELAY: Granite City, first (3:26.71); Alton, third (3:27.89); Edwardsville, fourth (3:30.88)

 Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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