Collinsville High School Athletics


Rave reviews for new cross country course at Alton High


Alton Telegraph | 9/22/2021

PHOTO CREDIT: Greg Shashack

GODFREY — The first winner of the first race in the first meet on the first on-campus cross country course for the Alton Redbirds was Granite City’s Lauryn Fenoglio in the Alton Invite.

The new five-kilometer layout does a figure eight starting and finishing on the open field next to the tennis courts, looping around the junior varsity softball field, through the woods and around the soccer and baseball fields. It replaces Gordon Moore Park as the home course for the Alton

Moore Park was Fenoglio’s favorite course, but its replacement layout of varied terrains behind Alton High drew her endorsement.

“This met the standard,” said Fenoglio, who won in 20 minutes, 58.48 seconds. “I like it.”

That was the consensus among the Redbirds’ top runners, including senior Sophia Paschal, who ran second behind Fenoglio in 21:14.44.

“I liked it better than Gordon Moore,” Paschal said. “Once we got past the first mile, it went pretty quick.”

And a runner-up finish was within Paschal’s hopes for her first race on the course. “Top three, and I got second,” she said. “So I hit that goal.”

There were some hazards, including mud from Tuesday rain on the first turn and more mud in about a 10-yard stretch linking the open field to the path through the woods. But the punishment comes from the incline taking runners from the low ground at the start to the high ground owned by the baseball/soccer complex.

“The big hill,” Paschal said. “we have to do it twice. It’s pretty hard.”

Running behind Fenoglio and Paschall in the girls race were Granite’s Emilee Franklin, Cahokia’s Andrianne Milsap, Jersey’s Morgan Johnson and Hallie Carter, Marquette Catholic’s Kailey Vickrey, Granite’s Lillian Harris, Marquette’s Katie Johnson and Collinsville’s Selah Hart in the top 10.

Collinsville’s Trey Peterson won the boys race in 16:31.51, with Granite City’s Thomas Westbrook (16:48.44) in second and Jersey’s Cole Martinez in third (16:54.55). Alton senior Dylan Forsythe (17:12.63) ran fourth to accomplish his goal.

“I was just hoping to get top five,” Forsythe said. “Top three, that would have been great, but I’m happy with my placement.”

And he is happy with the Redbirds’ new cross country course, and a little regretful that he will not get more shots at it.

“It was sick,” Forsythe said with a smile. “I liked it a lot. I want to be back here, but as a senior that’s unfortunate. It’s a nice course. It’s so much better than Gordon Moore. It’s hard. There’s a big hill in the back, but you push through it.”

Collinsville’s Andrew Gonski came in behind Forsythe in fifth with the top 10 bringing in Alton’s Simon McClain, Jersey’s Griffin Williams, Alton’s River Wrisnik, Collinsville’s Brock Cunningham and Alton’s Alex Macias. The Redbirds also ran 11th and 12th with Victor Humphrey and Noah Gallivan.

It is another step in the development of the athletics facilities at Alton High, with cross country joining baseball, softball, tennis, soccer and track as outdoor sports played at the campus on Humbert Road.

Former cross country coach Vernon Curvey, who resigned as coach to take an administrative job at the high school, is the course’s architect and it has been a project that took years to complete.

“Quite a while, actually,” Alton athletics director Chris Kusnerick said. “We just appreciate the support that the school board has given us to make this come to fru... Click here to read full article