By Darlene Tady
The Panther boys cross country team captured the sectional crown at Quincy to earn a trip to the State Championships in the 3A division (large schools) at Detweiller Park in Peoria next Saturday.
O’Fallon’s point total was 86 with Edwardsville placing second with 110 points.
Other teams qualifying for state from the Quincy Sectional were Normal University High (115), Minooka (122) and Lockport (126).
All seven of O’Fallon’s runners placed ahead of Edwardsville’s fifth runner which was a key factor in the victory. Senior Will VanAlstine ran with the lead pack the duration of a fast paced race. He then passed several runners in the final stretch to place sixth, clocking 15:35 on a hilly 3.05 mile course.
Junior Will Ray placed 17th in a time of 15:57. Sophomore Nick Edwards (20th) and senior Brendan Krell (21st) both ran a time of 16:04. On their heels in 22nd place was senior teammate Jacob Ramirez with a time of 16:06. Junior Chris Wichlac (41st, 16:29) and Jr. David Tady (55th, 16:43) rounded out the team’s scorers.
This is the 16th consecutive year that Coach Burnett’s O’Fallon team has qualified for the State Championships.