ALTON - In the inaugural Alton Invitational girls race on Wednesday afternoon, the Panthers edged out the Warriors for the team title, with Jersey having 37 points to Granite's 38. The Explorers were third with 51 points, while Cahokia, Alton and Collinsville also entered runners, but didn't have enough for a team score.
The girls' race was won by Granite's Lauryn Fenoglio, with a time of 20:58.88, with the Redbirds' only runner, Sophia Paschal, coming in second at 21:14.44. In third place was the Warriors' Emilee Franklin at 21:28.52, while Andrianne Millsap of the Comanches was fourth at 21:51.80, two Jersey runners, Morgan Johnson and Halie Carter, were fifth and sixth respectively, with times of 22:02.79 and 22:26.04, Kailey Vickrey of the Explorers was seventh at 22:45.70, eighth place went to Lillian Harris of the Warriors, with a time of 22:51.99. in ninth place was Marquette's Katie Johnson, who was in at 22:53.52 and concluding the top ten was Collinsville's Selah Hart, with a time of 22:57.26.
Along with the times of both Johnson and Carter, the Panthers had Abby Fraley in at 23:44.10, Reese Lorton had a time of 24:41.73, Kate Heitzig came in at 24:43.46, Chloe Kallal had a time of 25:35.51 and Grace Steinacher was in at 25:35.78.
The top three finishers for Granite, Lydia Harris had a time of 25:24.59, Madison Tanksley was in at 29:02.97 and Rowan Wallace had a time of 29:45.17.
In addition to Vickrey and Johnson, the Explorers had Paige Rister in at 23:23.52, Ava Certa's time was 26:49.68, and Jaimie Jarzenbeck was in at 26:57.81.
In the other individual runners, the Kahoks had Audrey Cummins in at 24:11.46, Kassidy Rea's time was 24:12.66 and Colleen Zinke came in at 27:12.19. The other runners for Cahokia were Andrionna Millsap, who came in at 25:04.11, Keymora Hayes, who had a time of 28:53.20, and Chardeja Sheard, who came in at 40:10.74.
Alton High School Head Girls Cross Country Coach Tammy Tolbert has very high hopes for both the future of the new course and the growth of the meet.
"You know what? It's really nice to have it on campus," Tolbert said, "and it's really a beautiful course, on campus and so really close to the school. And I got some feedback from other runners and coaches that they really liked the course as well. It was a really great world premiere," she said with a laugh. "It was fun."
"I hope to continue to have the meet there," Tolbert said, "and maybe expand it to more teams. It was a wonderful day, and I couldn't have asked for anything better."