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GRANITE CITY - Edwardsville's Riley Knoyle came in second, teammate Maya Lueking was seventh, and Civic Memorial's Hannah Meiser came in sixth overall as the Tigers came in second as a team, Roxana placed fifth, Triad seventh, the host Warriors ninth and the Eagles 11th in the girls race at the 47th running of the Granite City Invitational cross country meet held Saturday at Wilson Park.

O'Fallon won the meet's overall title with 58 points, with the Tigers close behind in second at 61 points, Highland was third with 109 points, Waterloo came in fourth with 126, the Shells scored 139 points to place fifth, Mascoutah was sixth with 172, Triad came in seventh with 173, Freeburg was eighth with 222, the Warriors came in ninth with 225, and Belleville West rounded out the top ten with 290 points.

The Eagles were 11th with 296, with Breese Mater Dei Catholic 12th at 342, Father McGivney Catholic was 13th with 369 points, Columbia 14th at 373, Belleville Althoff Catholic 15th with 375, Marquette Catholic was 16th, scoring 437 points, East St. Louis 17th at 500 points, Collinsville 18th at 539, and Trenton Wesclin 19th with 558 points.

The format of the race was altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, which sent off the Class 1A schools first, followed by the Class 2A schools, then the Class 3A schools last, with all results combined to determine the standings and individual winner.

Edwardsville's young team did well, and the meet was used as a measuring stick to gauge the progress of the runners thus far.

"Girls side, we know we have a good team, we have a pretty young team," said Tigers coach George Patrylak. "This was all about trying to get a better idea of where we're at, and very pleasantly surprised. Last year, our team, O'Fallon was at a different level, and for us to be three points behind, first time a lot of these freshmen are getting to run in a big invite. There are a lot of promising things that I saw, and keeping in mind the amount of progress that our girls team made during the season last year, I think we're in a very, very good spot right now."

Granite City coach Richie Skirball felt that Lacey Kunz was the Warriors' top runner, and she set a very good pace for her teammates.

"On the girls side, Lacey Kunz, of course, was our number one top girl," Skirball said, "and she went out from the get-go, and tried to take the lead. She told me later that she went out too fast, and I told her I'm glad that she did, because in a race like this, with uncertainty, go out with the leaders, and they'll carry you to a faster time, so she looked excellent today. And then, we had Clair Sykes battle today in our number two spot, Lauryn Fenoglio coming really strong as a sophomore. She had an outstanding performance, stepping up, and that's what she's done all year, stepping up whenever our team needs her to do that. And the same thing with Lillian Harris. This is Lillian's first real race after coming back from injury, and she was our number four runner today, but she just did outstanding in pushing the pace, and really helping her teammates out. Same thing with Emilee Franklin, Shannon Roustio and Maddison Tanksley, a freshman running today. And she came close to her personal best. She, in a week's time, ran two races, and her two fastest of all-time, so that was a really good performance by them."

Civic Memorial coach Jake Peal was very pleased with his girls' performances on the day.

"The girls, they handled business, trying to stay as close as they can today, as well," Peal said.

Peal felt that Meiser ran very well, and that her hard work is starting to pay big dividends.

"Absolutely," Peal said. "We were here on Wednesday, and tactically, she made a few mistakes that we needed to correct, and her mindset was right today, she got out right where she needed to, asserted herself in the race, and that's what happens when you put yourself in a race. You run big times like that. It's been a long time coming for her, she works her butt off all spring, all summer, and I think it's great to finally see the fruits of her labor."

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Roxana also had a good showing, with Riley Doyle and Janelynn Worth leading the way for the shells. It was also Worth's first race since suffering heat exhaustion at the AD Cup race at Civic Memorial earlier in the week.

"Going up against Freeburg, they're like the powerhouse of the south," said Shells head coach Scott Edwards. "So anytime you can run with them, you're having a pretty good year, and our top five, I don't know what the differential was on it, but they were all within a minute of each other, which is good."

It was Worth's first race back from the AD Cup, and her performance was very good.

"It the first race back," Edwards said. "I held her out of the last race, because she's still not 100 percent as of Wednesday, but she's fine now, and it's her first real race of the year. That Bethalto race, conditions were not advantageous to racing, that's for sure. The heat index was so high, and just hot and humid, and a new course. The days leading up to that were hot, and it takes a lot out of the kids."

O'Fallon's Peyton Schieppe was the overall winner with a time of 17:35.68, with Knoyle placing second at 17:59.08, and Alyssa Elliott of Belleville West third with a time of 18:11.39. Julia Loeh of Highland was fourth at 19:16.23, Waterloo's Angelynn Kanyuck fifth with a time of 19:19.53, Meiser was sixth, coming in at 19:21.48, Lueking seventh at 19:30.77, and a trio of O'Fallon runners --- Julia Monson, Ella Peterson and Hannah Zura --- rounded out the top ten, with times of 19:42.28, 19:55.07, and 19:56.47 respectively.

Besides Knoyle and Maya Lueking, the other Edwardsville runners were Dylan Peel at 20:03.58, Makenna Lueking at 20:14.74, Kaitlyn Loyet, with a time of 20:21.09, Whitney Dyckman, with a time of 20:23.02, and Anna Singh, who came in at 20:44.55.

Doyle led the top three finishers for the Shells with a time of 20:14.22, followed by Wirth at 20:36.07, and Gabrielle Woodruff at 20:41.38. Triad's top three runners were Sydney Hartoin, with a time of 20:10.81, Blaire Cunningham, who came in at 20:43.72, and Chloe Gough, who's time was 20:50.74.

Kunz led the way for the Warriors with a time of 19:59.14, with Sykes coming in at 21:13.67, and Fenoglio at 21:19.26. Besides Meiser, the other top runners for the Eagles were Alyssa Mann, with a time of 22:05.59, and Katelynn Halstead, who had a time of 22:36.86. The top three runners for the Griffins were Alyssa Terhaar at 21:27.61, Kaitlyn Hatley at 22:01.76, and Emma Martinez at 22:39.63.

Marquette's top three were Kailey Vickrey, with a time of 21:45.49, Clare Antrainer, who came in at 23:48.86, and Megan Jarzenbeck at 24:14.85. The top three runners for the Kahoks were Kassidy Rea at 26:31.98, Colleen Zinke at 29:50.04, and Lorelei Harness at 30:00.20.

In addition, Alton runners who competed were Sophia Paschal, with a time of 20:44.50, Alayna Rabozzi, who had a time of 22:04.30, and Eva Schwaab, who came in at 24:41.71. Metro-East Lutheran was represented by McKenna Getta, who had a time of 26:30.42, Natalie Blair, who's time was 29:15.03, and Sophi Worth, who came in at 35:07.75.

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