CoEd Varsity Cross Country
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Alton’s Havis, Marquette’s Vickrey win at Havens Invite
Edwardsville flashes depth, sweeps team titles
Greg Shashack, email@example.com
Greg Shashack / The Telegraph
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Edwardsville’s Jillian Welsh turns a corner ahead of Carrollton’s Lily Baumgartner (631) and CM’s Kati Wells (right) about a mile into the three-mile Havens Invitational cross country meet Monday at
ELSAH – Cassius Havis immediately challenged the field Monday in the boys race at Jerseyville’s Havens Invitational at Principia College.
The field had no answer for the Alton Redbirds junior.
“I went out hard to see if anyone would try to go with me,” Havis said. “No one really did.”
Havis took command in the opening mile and won his first cross country invitational title while covering the three-mile course at Prin in 16 minutes, 39 seconds. Edwardsville’s Henry Gruben was runner-up in 16:57.
“It was kind of hard running by myself, but I kept on trying to push,” said Havis, who started thinking victory with about one mile left in his first race on the layout at Prin. “I kind of looked behind and didn’t see anybody. I knew I had it.”
Edwardsville held its top three boys runners out of the lineup, but still placed five in the top seven to easily win the team title with 22 points. Civic Memorial ran second with 67 points, with Jersey (79), Alton (95), Auburn (135), Dupo (141) and Marquette Catholic (178) completing the seven boys teams.
The absence of Edwardsville’s Roland Prenzler and Jack Pifer, who both finished ahead of Havis in his third-place finish Sept. 15 at the Edwardsville Invite at SIUE, left Havis as the favorite and the Redbird delivered.
“He’s always there and I try to run with him, try to keep up with him,” Havis said of Prenzler. “It makes a difference. If he would have run today, it would have pushed me more. But I’ve got to be happy.”
Edwardsville also scored Alexander Valdez (17:09) in third, Todd Baxter (17:11) in fourth, Colten O’Brien (17:14) in sixth and Dan Powell (17:23) in seventh.
“Right now, we’re really working on trying to find our identity as a team,” Edwardsville coach George Patyrlak said. “We feel we have our top four pretty solidified. But for us to be able to accomplish our goals for the season, we need to keep improving at our No. 5 spot. That was part of our goal today, to continue to get that competition for the 5-6-7 spots because that’s what’s going to make or break the season for us on the boys side.”
CM placed two runners in the top 10 with Mark Eldridge (17:12) coming in fifth and Parker Borth (17:30) finishing in eighth. Jersey was led by a 10-11 finish from Drew Bertman (17:44) and Christian Cazier (17:46).
Like Edwardsville’s boys, the Tigers girls rested their top three runners in hopes of developing depth for postseason.
“We wanted to give the other ladies a chance to battle,” Patrylak said. “We’ve been a little bit inconsistent, 4 through 7, so we’re just trying to get the girls to continue battling for those spots. Our girls sectional is going to be extremely tough. If we don’t have at least five, if not all seven, runners clicking when it comes to the end of the season it’s going to be difficult. We have one of the best girls sectionals in the state, so we have to make sure we take care of business if we want to get out.”
Marquette Catholic junior Riley Vickrey took care of her business while using a strong closing kick to win in 19 minutes, 49 seconds. “I’ve wanted to break 20 minutes all season and I finally got that,” Vickrey said. “So I’m happy.”
Vickrey stalked leader Elise Krone of Edwardsville for much of the race before catching the Tigers senior just over 100 yards from the finish and drawing off to win by six seconds.
“I always feel really confident near the end because I feel like I’ve got a good kick,” Vickrey said. “So when I saw (Krone) start taking a lead with about a half-mile left, I wasn’t too worried. When we turned the corner for the last straightaway, I just took off.”
Krone led a parade of six Tigers in the top nine to give Edwardsville an easy victory in the team standings with 16 points. Auburn was second with 78, followed by CM (80), Alton (88) and Jersey (101).
Krone also broke 20 minutes by hitting the chute at 19:55 with teammates Emiley England (20:22) in third, Kiara Delgado (20:49) in fourth and Makenna Lueking (20:57) in fifth. Jillian Welsh (21:37) ran seventh to cap the Tigers’ scoring.
CM was led by an eighth-place run from Kati Wells (21:48). Carrollton’s Lily Baumgartner (21:53) was 10th. Alton was led by Sophia Paschal (21:58) in 11th, while Jersey’s Hannah Tonsor (22:12) came home in 12th
For Havens champ Vickrey, it will be a short recovery before running at the Triad Invite on Wednesday. “It’s not ideal,” she said. “But I’ll just ice bath and I should be ready.”
And both the girls and boys winners at Elsah gave high marks to Prin’s North Farm course that played host to the Division III cross country national championships in 2017.
“I love this course,” Vickrey said. “The uphills balance out the downhills, so I feel like it’s pretty even. It’s great scenery, it’s all grass. I think it’s really nice.”
“This,” Havis said, “is the way a cross country course should be.”