Rave reviews for the new cross country course at Alton High (with 19 photos)



GODFREY – The first race winner of the first meet on the first cross country course on campus for the Alton Redbirds was Lauryn Fenoglio of Granite City in the Alton Invite

The new five-kilometer, figure-eight route starting and ending on the open field next to the tennis courts, looping around the junior varsity softball field, through the woods, and around the football and baseball fields, replaces Gordon Moore Park as home course for the Alton

Moore Park was Fenoglio’s favorite course, but his alternate layout of varied terrain behind Alton High drew his approval.

“It hit the norm,” 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 finished second behind Fenoglio in 21: 14.44.

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

And a second place was in Paschal’s hopes for his first race on the course. “First three, and I finished second,” she said. “So I achieved this goal.”

There were a few dangers, including mud from Tuesday rain at the first corner and more mud on a stretch of about 10 meters from the open field to the path through the woods. But the punishment comes from the slope that takes the runners from the low field at the start to the high field belonging to the baseball / soccer complex.

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

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

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

“I was just hoping to finish in the top five,” Forsythe said. “In the top three it would have been great, but I’m happy with my ranking. “

And he’s happy with the Redbirds’ new cross-country course, and a little regrettable that he can’t participate more.

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

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

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

Former cross-country coach Vernon Curvey, who resigned his coaching job to take up an administrative role at the high school, is the architect of the course and it’s a project that has spanned years.

“A long time, actually,” said Alton athletic director Chris Kusnerick. “We simply appreciate the support the school board has given us to make this happen. As well as Dave McClintock, our building and grounds manager. His team has done a lot of work over the past year and a half and it’s exciting. We think we have a pretty good run.



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