By Darlene Tady
The O’Fallon Boys and Girls Cross Country teams were dominant in all six races at the Granite City Invitational this past Saturday.
Competing in the 38 team field, the JV Girls, Boys Open, and Girls Open were all crowned team champions. The Varsity Girls placed second, while the Varsity Boys placed third only seven points behind first place team SLUH and two points behind Edwardsville. The JV Boys pulled together for a fifth place team finish.
Leading the JV Girls was freshman standout Peyton Schieppe, who was crowned individual champion with a time of 19:47 over three miles. Sophomore Maddie Vorce, crossed the finish line in third place. Also placing in the top ten for the JV Lady Panthers was Brianne Berres (8th), Peyton Mutters (9th), and Olivia Anderson (10th).
In the Varsity Girls race freshman Julia Monson led all O’Fallon runners clocking 18:53 for her outstanding fifth place finish. Junior Emma Jordan placed eighth in 19:01, sophomore Sofia Parker was ninth in 19:12, and junior Kaitlyn Walker placed 12th with a 19:18 time.
On the boys side, in the varsity race, senior captain Will VanAlstine led the Panthers with a strong sixth place finish running 15:40 and on his heels was sophomore Nick Edwards who placed seventh in a time of 15:42. Senior Jacob Ramirez (23rd), junior Will Ray (24th) and senior Brendan Krell (25th) rounded out the top five.
In the JV boys race, sophomore Matt Ray paced his teammates with a 15th place finish with a time of 17:50 with sophomores Nico Parker and Nick Novy placing 23rd and 25th respectively.
O’Fallon Boys scored a dominating victory in the Open race by placing five runners in the top 17. Junior Chris Wichlac was crowned the individual champion running a time of 16:48 with junior David Tady crossing the line in second clocking 16:50. Junior Braden Gaab placed fifth, senior Kolson Mendelsohn placed sixth and senior Noah Decker rounded out the top five in 17th place.
In the Girls Open race senior Taylor Peck placed second, with teammates Sam Suchanek (4th), Sofia LoBue (5th), Krissy Sharpe (6th), and Faye Swanson (9th) scoring for O’Fallon Lady Panthers.
The Panthers will travel to SIU-E to run in the Edwardsville Fall Classic on Wednesday, September 5, and to St. Louis to compete in the Forest Park Cross Country Festival on Saturday, September 8.