Amasses 227 points with 12 firsts and eight seconds
By Sam Graf
For the third-straight year, the Mascoutah High School Boys’ Track team took the the Mississippi Valley Conference title in dominant fashion, trouncing Triad, Jersey, Waterloo, Highland, and Civic Memorial, 227-138-52-52-47-38.
In addition to the win, the Indians surpassed the 200-point threshold for the third-straight season (2017- 210 points and 2018 – 211 points), nabbing 12 first-place finishes, eight seconds, and six thirds to amass the 227 points — at MHS, last Wednesday.
And the JV squad easily won its version of the MVC, outpointing second-place Triad, 204-120.
“You very seldom see scores break into the 200s, and the Indians have done that for the last three years,” MHS Coach Darren Latham said. “The field events scored 88 points which would of beat four of the five other teams without getting on the track.
“The most exciting thing about the team is that we will return the majority of our athletes next year. However, we will feel the lost of some great seniors which includes Casmir Cozzi.”
Two who will be returning next season, Devin Wills contributed to four winning events, and Buckingham triumphed in three.
Wills blazed the 100 Meters and 200 Meters in 11.44 and 23.03, and he joined Medina, Hanson, and Buckingham to triumph in the 4×200 Relay in 1:30.65.
Buckingham leaped 41 feet, 5.25 inches to win the Triple Jump; took the 110 Hurdles in 16.26; teamed up with Wills, Chase Hanson, and Steven Medina to win the 4×100 Relay in 43.24.
Casmir Cozzi dominated the distance events. He won the 3200 Meters in 10:12.16, and dusted the competition, clocking 4:41.57 in the 1600 Meters.
Matthew Wilson and Barry Evans won their respective throwing events. Wilson threw the Shot Put 50 feet, nine inches, and Evans flung the Discus 136 feet, three inches.
Rounding out the first-place efforts, Kourtney Jackson took the 400 Meters in 51.8, and Armond Williams prevailed in the 300 Hurdles at 42.7.
Alex Midkiff earned three, second-place finishes: He joined Jordan Eddy, Avery Cozzi, and Nathan Mostoller to clock 8:34.35 in the 4×800 Relay. Midkiff also teamed up with Austin Heriford, Simeon Seaberry, and Cedric Rhodes to go 3:35.52 in the 4×400. Finally, Midkiff ran the 800 Meters in 2:03.98.
Five more individuals nabbed seconds: Dominic Squires pole vaulted 13 feet; Jackson long jumped 21 feet, 1.75 inches; Evans threw the Shot 42 feet, 8.5 inches; Brendan Jones recorded a throw of 122 feet, 11 inches in the Discus; Williams earned a 16.93 in the 110 Hurdles.
Heriford had two third place finishes: He recorded 40 feet, 7.25 inches in the Triple Jump and went 53.57 in the 400 Meters.
Also third, Williams high jumped six feet; Rhodes long jumped 20 feet, 8.25 inches; Jackson recorded 11.88 in the 100 Meters; Christopher Reuting registered 44.37 in the 300 Hurdles.
Jackson added a 24.46 effort in the 200 Meters.
Next up, the Varsity squad will try to qualify as many athletes as possible to the upcoming 2 A State Meet from the Herrin Sectional, Wednesday, May 15.
“We will face a very powerful East St Louis track team at Sectionals so we will have to be at our best to get as many kids to the State Championships as possible,” said Latham. “To accomplish this they will need to perform just like they did at the MVC meet—with all heart!”
The JV Boys also dominated the MVC with 13 first-place finishes, five seconds, and two thirds.
Taking first: Elijah Emanuel — five feet, 10 inches in the High Jump; Allen Lotu — 39 feet in the Shot Put; the 4×100 Relay (D’Vaunte McDonald, Kai Toolie, Kevin Brown, and Jalen Barnes) — 44.84; Noah Jensen — 17.47 in the 100 Hurdles; Toolie — 12.06 in the 100 Meters; Dylan Lyons — 2:14.06 in the 800 Meters.
Continuing the first-place finishes: The 4×200 Relay (McDonald, Toolie, Brown, and Barnes) crossed in 1:35.21; Jayden Neal — 54.98 in the 400 Meters; Barnes — 47.34 in the 300 Hurdles; Kristian Knecht — 5:03.38 in the 1600; Toolie — 25.33 in the 200; Avery Cozzi, Shaun Kendrick, Jacob Cruickshank, and Neal went 3:58.49 in the 4×400 Relay.
The JV Indians had five, second-place results: Lotu — 106 feet, two inches in the Discus; Josh Copher, Camron Aurelio, Gabriel Encinas, Alexander Mendiola — 9:36.48 in the 4×800 Relay; Brown — 12.51 in the 100; Lyons — 5:04.93 in the 1600; McDonald — 25.36 in the 200.
Finishing third, Kendrick earned 57.53 in the 400 Meters, and Riley Jones came in 49.08 in the 300 Hurdles.