Girls Cross Country team gets ready for Regionals


sport-shoe-1470061_960_720-resizedO’FALLON – The O’Fallon Township High School Girls Cross Country team had its final tune-up before starting IHSA Tournament play, placing second in the Southwestern Conference Meet in Collinsville.

The team struggled to overcome a dominant showing from rival Edwardsville, who turned out an impressive 19 point win, sporting six runners in the top ten. The Tigers also managed to finish on 22 seconds faster on average than the Panthers.

O’Fallon junior Brooke Witzel did all she could for her team, winning the race with a time of 18:38:08. Witzel finished just under ten seconds ahead of second place Jaycie Hudson of Edwardsville.

Hudson would lead the Tiger onslaught, finishing at the top of four straight Edwardsville runners, representing the rest of the top five.

OTHS freshman Katilyn Walker would finish seventh overall, while fellow freshmen Emma Jordan and Sophie Wichlac would place tenth and 11th respectively. Madeline McKittrick finished a strong showing for the Class of 2020, placing 14th.

Panther senior Danna Jenkins would cross the finish line right after McKittrick, with a time of 20:39:97.

O’Fallon achieved an average time of 19 minutes and 32 seconds, several minutes ahead of third place East St. Louis. Belleville East would place fourth ahead of Collinsville and Alton, respectively. Belleville West would come in seventh.

The Lady Panthers now turn their attention to their trip to Quincy this Saturday for the IHSA Regional. Races will start at 11 a.m.

Teams that advance past the Regional will compete in the IHSA Sectional at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for a chance to move on and run for the State Championship in Peoria’s famous Detweiller Park.

O’Fallon is confident they can run with Edwardsville, but the goal for the Panthers is to run past them and to continue deep into the October schedule.