By Mark Jurgena
For the Times-Tribune
Theo Paxton finished in 2nd place overall while the Kahoks boys cross country team earned a 4th place finish at the Belleville West Invite last Saturday.
“He ran the same time he did last year on a shorter, flat course, so (he’s) obviously in better shape so (I’m) looking forward to see what develops over the course of the season,” said coach Darryl Frerker.
Paxton came in at 16:01 only five seconds behind race winner Cassius Havis of Alton.
Matt Wilde and Kevin Varela were the next two Kahoks to finish. Wilde finished 18th with a time of 17:30 and Varela posted a 17:35 for 22nd place.
They were followed by Axle Muniz at 25th with a 17:42 and Brock Cunningham placing 31st at 18:10.
In the team event, Mascoutah won the event with 48 points. Columbia and Belleville West placed 2nd and 3rd. The Kahoks had 98 points in finishing 4th out of eight teams.
“All of the boys ran well even if it wasn’t a personal record for the course. Just a very competitive attitude and demeanor and looked good. I was just very pleased with how we got after it,” Frerker said.
On the girls side, Maggie Fitzgerald placed 3rd for Collinsville.
“For her an outstanding race. It’s what she is capable of running, I’d like to see that every time out. It was a great performance today, a very focused, strong race,” said Frerker.
Only two more Kahoks ran in the varsity race due to injury and illness.
Mckenna Laing went 22:05 for 22nd place and freshman LeAnn Haggerty came in at 23:05 for 30th.
“LeAnn had a very nice race as well, very impressive. I look forward to her continuing to develop into this season,” Frerker said.
Alyssa Elliott of Belleville West won the event. Mascoutah won the girls team title at the five team event.