Edwardsville's Roland Prenzler and Alton's Cassius Havis battle it out for the lead in Saturday's Tiger Invitational. Prenzler won the 3.1-mile race. (All photos by Dan Brannan)

EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville's boys cross country team used its depth to take home the Tiger Invitational team championship Saturday. The EHS boys scored 35 points, taking four of the top 10 places, to defeat the Bruins, who had 47 points; McGivney Catholic, led by a sixth-place finish by Tyler Guthrie, took third with 152 points.

Edwardsville's Roland Prenzler scorched the 3.1-mile course in a time of 16:12.24, ahead of teammate Jack Pifer, who had a clocking of 16:27.32; Alton’s Cassius Havis took third in 16:46.96, ahead of Rock Bridge’s Matthew Hauser (16:48.36) and Mojuba Shonekan (16:49.00).

“Definitely, the positives outweigh the negatives so far today,” said Tiger coach George Patrylak. “I know both guys and girls sides were a little bit down in terms of our runners; one of our top ladies, we had to pull from the middle of the race, and Zach Walters did not compete today on the guys’ side."

For the Tigers, it came down to their fourth and fifth runners that gave EHS the team crown; Henry Gruben finished 10th (17:29.28) and Alexander Valdez finished 15th (17:37.89), behind seventh-place Max Hartmann (17:05.35), to help the EHS cause Saturday. “We told you all year that it’s going to come down to our No. 5 (runner) – with us sitting Zach today, it came down to our four and five, and Henry and Xander have been going back and forth with our 5-6 spots for most of the year,” Patrylak said. “Both of those guys, by far, today had their best races of the year; hopefully, we’re going to continue trending in this direction.”

On the boys side on the day, top area runners included Guthrie for the Griffins, Civic Memorial’s Mark Eldridge (who finished 25th in 18:03.47), Collinsville’s Diego Hernandez (finishing 27th in 18:11.65), Jersey’s Christian Cazier (35th in 18:31.97), Havis for the Redbirds, Metro East Lutheran’s Jonah Wilson (82nd in 20:34.61), Marquette’s Jacob Rummerfeld (88th in 21:08.89) and Southwestern’s Derek Watson (102nd in 20:41.56).

BOYS TEAM RESULTS

Edwardsville, 35; Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, 47; McGivney Catholic, 152; Champaign Central, 160; Columbia, 203; CBC, 210; Jacksonville, 224; Civic Memorial, 231; John Burroughs, 245; Collinsville, 252; Highland, 256; Waterloo, 296; Jersey, 300; Farmington, Mo., 311; Alton, 315; East St. Louis, 445; Metro East Lutheran, 528; Marquette Catholic, 540; Cahokia, 575; Litchfield (3 finishers), Piasa Southwestern (3 finishers), no team scores

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (TOP 15 FINISHERS)

Roland Prenzler, Edwardsville, 16:21.24; Jack Pifer, Edwardsville, 16:27.32; Cassius Havis, Alton, 16:46.96; Matthew Hauser, Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, 16:48.36; Mojuba Shonekan, Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, 16:49.00; Tyler Guthrie, McGivney Catholic, 17:00.89; Max Hartmann, Edwardsville, 17:05.35; Isaiah Spellman, Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, 17:09.77; Brandon Miller, John Burroughs, 17:22.45; Henry Gruben, Edwardsville, 17:29.08; Tim Rhodenbaugh, Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, 17:29.65; Alexander Hunn, CBC, 17:33.86; Jackson McAlister, Waterloo, 17:36.73; Thomas Lee, Farmington, Mo., 17:37.05; Alexander Valdez, Edwardsville, 17:37.89

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Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban
Journals.

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