Edwardsville's Roland Prenzler and Max Hartmann have emerged as two of the Tigers' best distance runners this track and field season. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

Max Hartmann bolts to a triumph for Edwardsville in the Winston Brown Invitational. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

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EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville cross-country and track and field distance coach George Patrylak has had considerable success with distance runners in the past.

This past year, he graduated a strong group, led by Wes Schoenthal and several other exceptional runners. This year he has had to depend on younger freshman and sophomore runners and he hasn’t been disappointed. The young crew shows nothing but a bright future for the EHS in distance events.

Leading the way are Roland Prenzler, Franky Romano, Max Hartmann and Dan Powell.

“Each one of our distance boys works hard,” Patrylak said. “They don’t train like freshmen or sophomores. They listen and get afEdwardsville's Franky Romano on a fast pace. (Photo by Dan Brannan)ter it and don’t take any shortcuts.”

Patrylak said he knows he is spoiled with the distance group he has had in recent years, but he also knows this year’s team has such promise for the years ahead.

“Devon Madison, our only senior, and Jacob Schoenthal, a junior, are also really good role models for the kids,” Patrylak said.

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Prenzler continues to develop and show he has a brilliant future ahead as does teammate Dan Powell. Powell is amazing in practice and once he gains confidence with racing, he will be difficult to beat, the coach said. Patrylak said Prenzler reminds him in the mold of Brydon Groves-Scott, also a phenomenal distance runner who graduated last year.

“Roland is definitely headed in the right direction,” the coach said.

Hartmann has made a lot of gains over the last year as has teammate Jonah Durbin, Patrylak said. Hartmann blew the 3,200-meter field away recently in the Winston Brown Invitational.

Others mentioned were freshman Jacob Davis, who has been near the 2:10 mark in the 800 meters, Romano, Holden Potter and Wyatt Henning. Romano is an incredible three-sport athlete, also starring in wrestling and cross country.

"Franky had a great time last year and in cross country he blew everybody away at how much he developed,” Patrylak said. “He works hard.”

Patrylak said he believes Romano will creep close to the 2:00-minute mark in the 800 and hopefully soon will get under that plateau.

Overall, Coach Patrylak said this year’s distance group consists of great kids.

“They are coachable and are talented individuals,” he said.


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