Granite City Invitational Captures Some Of Southern Illinois' Finest

Ben Flowers toured the three mile course in 15:00 (Tracy Burmester photo)

Granite City High School hosted its 43rd annual Invitational Saturday morning, where some of the area's best runners came out to run on the three mile course.  With a boys' and girls' varsity race, a boys' freshman/sophomore race, a girls' JV race, and an open race for both boys and girls, there were over a thousand runners who competed at Wilson Park.

Senior Ben Flowers of Jerseyville defended his winning title from last year, winning the boys' varsity race once again with a time of 15:00.51.  It was a tight field at the finish line after the first place runner; coming in second place, with a time of 15:24.30, was Chris Durr, the senior from Chatham (Glenwood), followed by Zach Young of Marion, running 15:25.15, and then Charlie Parrish of Freeburg who ran 15:27.62.  Close to 250 runners rounded out the field for the boys' varsity race.

Top 10 Boys finishers-

1Ben Flowers12Jersey High School15:00.51--
2Chris Durr12Chatham-Glenwood High School15:24.301
3Zach Young12Marion High School15:25.152
4Charlie Parrish11Freeburg High School15:27.623
5Franky Ramano11Edwardsville High School15:30.114
6John Bruce9Marion High School15:38.165
7Chris Conrad12O'Fallon High School15:40.726
8Andrew O'keefe10Granite City High School15:40.977
9Austin Knight11Carterville High School15:44.77--
10Kyle Dismukes10O'Fallon High School15:45.918

Jenna Schwartz of Waterloo was likely to win the girls' varsity race this year, after placing fourth at last years' invitational as a freshman, behind three seniors.  She took the lead early on and quickly distanced herself from the rest of the field throughout the race, winning with a time of 18:10.13.  Abby Korak was also a sight to see on the Granite City Cross Country course.  The freshman from Edwardsville looked really strong as she worked her way up gradually throughout the race and placed second with a time of 18:34.83.  There were nearly 200 girls that made up the competitive field for the varsity race.

Top 10 Girls-

1Jenna Schwartz10Waterloo High School18:10.131
2Abby Korak9Edwardsville High School18:34.832
3Kate Bushue12Mt. Vernon High School18:37.463
4Nautica Stricklin10Herculaneum High School18:41.304
5Samantha Hengehold9Highland High School18:55.375
6Abby Schrobilgen10Edwardsville High School18:59.546
7Breanna Chandler9Freeburg High School19:02.987
8Seleiya Wilson11Belleville East High School19:03.708
9Katie Curry10Chatham-Glenwood High School19:07.889
10Jaycie Hudson10Edwardsville High School19:09.4510

Edwardsville easily placed first as a team, followed by O'Fallon, Freeburg, and then Waterloo.  Three of Edwardsville's runners made up the top ten, earning a team score of 49 points.  The other four runners who counted towards this score, in addition to Abby Korak, were Abby Schrobilgen, Jaycie Hudson, Julianna Determan, and Maddie Miller  O'Fallon also proved they can run strong as a team, managing to get second with a total of 105 points.

1Edwardsville High School492+6+10+14+17 (24+34)0:52 1-5 Split | 19:06 Avg
2O'Fallon High School10511+16+18+29+31 (45+47)0:34 1-5 Split | 19:33 Avg
3Freeburg High School1297+19+23+37+43 (66+91)1:17 1-5 Split | 19:42 Avg
4Waterloo High School1801+25+44+54+56 (67+75)2:43 1-5 Split | 19:59 Avg
5Chatham-Glenwood High School2189+15+42+52+100 (108)3:06 1-5 Split | 20:21 Avg

The boys' team for O'Fallon high school also had some strong showings. Christopher Conrad placed sixth, while teammate Kyle Dismukes placed eighth. With the addition of Will VanAlstine, Hayden Ybarra, and Joey Black, the team won first place with 91 points. Coming in second for team scores was Chatham (Glenwood), followed by St. Louis University, Edwardsville, and then Freeburg.

1O'Fallon High School916+8+14+31+32 (41+43)0:34 1-5 Split | 15:57 Avg
2Chatham-Glenwood High School1261+17+24+34+50 (87)1:13 1-5 Split | 16:02 Avg
3St. Louis University High School14218+19+23+25+57 (63+88)0:53 1-5 Split | 16:07 Avg
4Edwardsville High School1584+15+40+44+55 (56+83)1:15 1-5 Split | 16:14 Avg
5Freeburg High School1733+27+38+52+53 (74+78)1:12 1-5 Split | 16:16 Avg