Simon McClaine looks toward the crowd as he crosses the finish line securing second place in the Alton Invite.

ALTON - For the second year in a row Alton High School hosted the Alton Invite, a boys and girls cross-country race. It was a three-mile loop set up on the school's relatively new cross-country trail with many schools competing.

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Of course, the Redbirds were there along with other area schools like Marquette Catholic, Collinsville, Jersey, Maryville Christian, and Granite City. A couple of Missouri schools came over as well like Oakville and Mehlville.

The boys' race was overall won by Alton as a team, but it was a Kahok who took home first place. Junior Andrew Gonski took home a first-place medal with a time of 17:01.60.

The Redbirds had five out of the top seven times on the day.

Junior runner and also soccer player Simon McClaine took second by just two-tenths of a second. It came down to the wire between him and Jersey's senior Griffin Williams. McClaine ran a 17:31.07 while Williams finished right next to him at 17:31.09.

The Redbirds also took fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh place.

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Sophomore Noah Gallivan, Alex Macias, Christian Kotzamanis, and River Wrishnik were the others rounding out the top 10 for Alton.

As a team, the boys finished first finishing with a combined time of 1:29:12.58. Oakville was second followed by Collinsville, Jersey, Granite City, and Marquette.

As for the girls, it was a Redbird who took first place. Freshman Sophia Helfrich beat 62 other competitors running a time of 21:27.47.

Sophia Helfrich crosses the finish line comfortably taking home first place.

Her teammate, fellow freshman, Monica Klockemper took seventh with a time of 23:01.77. Just barely missing out on the top 10 was senior Alayna Rabozzi with her 11th place time of 23:30.92.

As for girls' team scores, Oakville finished first followed by Jersey, Marquette, and Granite City.

Griffin Williams, Logan Wade, Chloe Kallal, Abby Fraley, and Taylor Woodring earned medals for the Panthers. Kallal finished ninth with a time of 23:21:27.

Marquette's junior Katie Johnson took eighth clocking in at 23:11:92.

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