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GRANITE CITY - Edwardsville’s girls cross country team placed seven girls in the top 15 of Saturday’s Granite City Invitational Cross Country Meet.
The Tiger girls had all five of their scoring runners finish in the top 12 and all seven of their runners in the top 15 in a performance that gave them the varsity team title with 33 points to easily outdistance second-place Waterloo, who had 75 points; O'Fallon had 91 points for third, Triad 147 points for fourth and Chatham Glenwood 207 points for fifth. Mascoutah (219), Quincy (233), Freeburg (249), Springfield (259) and Breese Mater Dei (303) finished in the second five on the day.
Other area teams were Alton (14th with 430), the host Warriors (18th with 505), Jersey (20th with 549), Civic Memorial (26th with 666) and Roxana (27th with 678); Piasa Southwestern did not have enough runners to field a complete team and ran as individuals. Edwardsville also won the JV competition with a near-perfect 21 points as the Tigers finished 1-2-4-6-8 among the scoring runners (the top five runners on a team scored) with Jersey 12th (365) among area teams; Alton, Granite City, Roxana, Triad and East Alton-Wood River had individual runners in that race.
“The varsity girls, we put seven in the top 15,” Patrylak said. “The JV girls we put seven in the top 14, so that kind of showing was really impressive across the board. Depth-wise with our varsity and JV, I'm just excited with our JV runners did with the ladies; obviously, with that varsity race, (Abby) Korak the first Tiger to ever break 18 minutes (covering the three-mile course in 17:48.43) on any course other than the state meet. Right now, we have two athletes who have gone sub-18 (at Detweiler Park in Peoria), Allie Sweatt and Liz Spiecher.
“For (Korak) to become the first athlete to go sub-18 for us is a great indicator, and our pack did a great job. Even with Abby running that well, we were just over a minute 1-to-7 gap and I think our top five were 40-some seconds. It needs to be better, but definitely a good start to the season. No complaints, but at the same time, we can't be too happy – we usually progress well from here; the years that we've done well at Granite usually holds true and we have a solid season – we're hoping that those trends continue.”
For the Redbird girls, Curvey said “we're pleased. We had some girls flip-flop some order there, which is good, and this may be one of those seasons where we have a different girl leading the pack every week – that will be interesting. They all work hard and they run together and we'll see how it pans out as the season goes.
“We've got some youngsters who still haven't figured out exactly how to race three; we've got some easy things to fix and some harder things to fix, but we'll be there at the end. We'll get both teams to sectionals – that's the first goal.”
On the girls side, Skirball saw some Warrior history being made Saturday. “Chessy Nikonowicz goes (19:59.72) and breaks the school record; the previous school record was 20-flat by Kori Nesbitt and a cool story about that was that Kori was actually here today praying that someone on our team would break the school record today because she wanted to see it happen – and Chessy did it.
“We've got Alyssa Comer, who's coming back and getting into shape and a great group of young girls like Claire Sykes, Kendra Kirkover, Lacey Kunz – those three were a great pack of freshmen; Patty Lahey is a new cross-country runner and she was our No. 3 today – the way she ran was a personal best for her. We're starting to develop our own depth out there and it's very, very encouraging to see that happening.”
The Tiger girls also had Abby Schrobligen with a 18:33.21, Melissa Spencer with a 18:22.06, Emiley England with a 18:31.61 and Jaycie Hudson with a 18:44.16 to round out the scoring; Katelyn Singh turned in a 18:54.40 and Elise Krone ran 18:56.27.
Alyssa Kowalski led Triad with a 19:04.26, Sydney Hartoin ran 19:30.62, Madi Walter a 19:37.31, Maddie Keller a 19:49.94 and Alyssa Postma 19:56.27 for their fourth-place team finish, while Alton's scoring runners included Lily Crader (20:31.41), Eva Schwab (21:13.38), Morgan Rauscher (21:24.84), Kellie Mans (21:44.29 and Ainsley Redman (22:01.06); for the Warriors outside of Nikonowicz, Sykes turned in a 20:50.18, Lahey a 22:01.19, Emily Johnson a 23:27.83 and Comer a 23:26.33.
Other top area runners on the day included Jersey's Sydney Merle (21:15.70), CM's Zoey Lewis (21:50.16), Roxana's Michaela Tarpley (21:32.04) and Piasa Southwestern's Isabelle Wolff (21:47.64),
Full results of the meet can be found at www.enduranceracetiming.com.
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