Ben Flowers of Jersey.

JERSEYVILLE - Jersey’s Ben Flowers is capable of doing just about anything on a cross-country course or track and his hopes are to finish at the top of the heap this weekend at the IHSA Class 2A State Track and Field Meet in Charleston.

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The Panthers’ Flowers qualified for the 1,600-meter run for next weekend's state track meet by winning the event in the Springfield Lanphier Sectional Friday.

Flowers won the race in 4:33.92 over Lincoln's Blake Jones, who ran in 4:39.22.

“Ben looked fine,” Harold Landon, his coach said of his race. “He came in at 1:05 for the first quarter and had a lead and worked at just getting his legs back. He ran a 4:21 the week before for the 1,600 at Collinsville and both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the conference meet. We were kind of hoping for this kind of race where we wouldn’t have to push him too hard. He is primed and ready for state.”

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Roxana's Jordan Hawkins was the only other area athlete to advance to the state meet with a second-place throw of 147-4 in the discus throw.

Host Lanphier easily defeated Highland with 140 points to the Bulldogs' 67 to take the team title; Stanford Olympia was third at 61, Jacksonville fourth at 43 and the Shells fifth at 34. East Alton-Wood River was 10th at 25, the Panthers took 11th with 23 points and Civic Memorial was 15th with four points. Austin Kimbrel was third in both the high jump and 300 low hurdles.

IHSA CLASS 1A GILLESPIE SECTIONAL

Carrollton's Wade Prough and Piasa Southwestern's Eugene Kahl both advanced to next weekend's IHSA Class 1A state track meet in Charleston with wins in their events at the Class 1A Gillespie Sectional Friday. They were the only two area athletes to qualify for state.

Prough won the long jump with a leap of 20-7.5, a quarter-inch better than North Mac's Nate Clark at 20-7.25; Kahl qualified in the 200 meters, finishing second with a time of 23.89 seconds, just behind East St. Louis SIUE Charter's DeMarco Neal, who won the event at 23.64.

Carlinville won the team title with 125 points, with Auburn second at 73, Madison third at 66, North Mac fourth at 50 and Southwestern fifth at 44.33; Carrollton was 13th at 16 points. Marquette Catholic and Metro East Lutheran did not score in the meet.

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