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Kahok Cross Country Continues Toward Home Stretch

By Mark Jurgena

For the Times-Tribune

The Collinsville boys cross country team hosted their own Collinsville Invitational meet last Wednesday and came away with a 2nd place finish.

“Triad, they always seem to have a good team and they always show up to compete,” said coach Darryl Frerker. “I really thought we had an opportunity to win that meet this year.”

However injuries and illnesses hampered the Kahok effort. Triad won the meet with 28 points while Collinsville finished next with 40 points.

Trey Peterson led the way for CHS with a time of 16:40.80 finishing in 2nd place overall just 0.3 behind race winner Drake Bleier of Triad.

“Trey ran awesome and he gave the senior Bleier a run for his money and almost beat him down the last stretch, Frerker said. “They were going back and forth leading pretty much of the race and challenging each other and down the homestretch the senior thought he had it won and Trey had one more little surge and almost got him.”

Axel Muniz finished in 4th place with a 17:45.40 while Theo Paxton came in 9th at 18:19.90. Brock Cunningham came in at 18:25 on the rugged hilly course good for 10th place.

Andrew Gonski came in 15th with an 18:58.20 and Evan Heinz finished 17th with a 19:08.20. Kevin Varela was 25th with a 20:18.50.

“All of the boys ran very well on that race, it was a pretty awesome race,” Frerker said.

On Friday, six of the seven conference schools got together for a different type of race at the home of the upcoming SWC conference meet, Clinton Hills Golf Course in Swansea.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions only 50 people can gather at a time. So the coaches organized the competition into four different races. Not only that, but they grouped the competitors by time regardless of whether they were males or females. So everyone, regardless of gender, was matched up with times near theirs.

“Two things happened,” began Frerker. “One, when you take the top 50 times out, then the next three races gives opportunities for people to win a race that usually don’t get an opportunity to win a race. The other part of it is you get some of the best ladies in the area, now they’re competing with a bunch of guys and it gives them a different opportunity. It was great. We all really enjoyed it.”

No team scores were kept as the coaches were looking for their athletes to gain experience for the upcoming conference meet.

Additionally, Collinsville had only one day between their own invite and this meet.

“I was very pleased with several of the boys,” said Frerker. “They ran as fast Friday on a little bit faster of a course than ours. That was the first time I’ve been on Clinton Hills, but Trey and Axel had a solid race for just one day of recovery. Just a solid effort.”

On the girls side, Maggie Fitzgerald is returning to form as she led the CHS girls in the Collinsville Invitational. Fitzgerald placed fifth with a time of 22:12.40.

“Maggie Fitzgerald had an awesome race,” Frerker said. “It was her best race of the season. It just looked good racing. That’s what she was capable of doing.”

Kassidy Rea placed 16th with a time of 25:27.90 while Hannah Pettit ran a 26:22.60 for 17th place.

Keira Winterich and Leslie Rivera placed next for the Kahoks in 20th and 21st place. Winterich came in at 31:33.10 and Rivera showed at 32:04.90.

Lorelei Harness of CHS finished in 23rd place with a time of 33:20.90.

Triad won the invite by edging Granite City by two points. Triad recorded a 30.

Sydney Hartoin was the winner with a time of 20:47.50

At Clinton Hills, Fitzgerald, Rea and Pettit ran against the best the SWC had to offer.

“They ran strong,” Frerker commented. “Just getting the experience on the course and being competitive in their respective race they did that. They accomplished everything they needed to that day. They gutted it out. They did step up and compete.”

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