Area athletes haul in medals, win five state titles

Darren Kinnard

CHARLESTON — Southern Illinois athletes hauled in a total of 30 medals including five state titles at the Boys Track and Field State Championships in Charleston. Herrin freshman Chris Nelson took home four of the medals, winning the 2A 100 meters, anchoring the winning 4×200, as well as a pair of fifth place finishes in the high jump and 200 meters.

Several others won multiple medals. Centralia’s Jeh’Chys Brown won the 2A Shot Put and finished 3rd in the 2A Discus. Pinckneyville’s Isaac Teel won the 1600 meters and finished 5th in the 3200. Mt. Vernon’s Jacob Morrison won the 2A Long Jump, and also ran the anchor leg on the Rams’ 4×100 team that took 7th.

Morrison had plenty of help, as the Rams posted their best team finish in school history, tying Mt. Zion for second place in the 2A team standings. Kankakee ran away with the 2A title, but after Mt. Vernon and Mt. Zion, East St. Louis, Cahokia, Marion and Herrin held down the next four team spots.

In addition to the five titles, the area had two runner up finishes–Mt. Vernon’s Tanner Koontz in the 2A Pole Vault and Benton’s Gavin Genisio in the 800 meters. Genisio also picked up a fifth place medal in the 1600. In both of Genisio’s races, the winners set new school records.

Perhaps the gutsiest performance came from Carterville senior Townsend Barton. Barton is facing ankle reconstruction surgery in the next few days after dislocating it before the start of the season. Doctors told him, the only way he would get a senior season would be to do rehab and just deal with the pain. Barton not only got a senior season, he made it to state, qualified for the finals in the 300 hurdles, and took home a fourth place medal.

Here is a list of the area medal winners:
Event Champions (5)
Jacob Morrison, Mt. Vernon (JR) 2A Long Jump
Jeh’Chys Brown, Centralia (JR) 2A Shot Put
Chris Nelson, Herrin (FR) 2A 100m
Herrin 2A 4×200 (2 FR, 1 SO, 1 SR)
Isaac Teel, Pinckneyville (SO) 1A 1600m

Top 5 (17)
2nd–Tanner Koontz, Mt. Vernon (SR) 2A Pole Vault
2nd–Gavin Genisio, Benton (SO) 2A 800m
3rd–Caleb Smith, Salem (SO) 2A Shot Put
3rd–Marion 4×800
3rd–JehChys Brown, Centralia (JR) 2A Discus
3rd–Alec Sledge, Mt. Vernon (SR) 2A 300H
4th–Dylon Nalley, Marion (SO) 2A 3200m
4th–Alec Sledge, Mt. Vernon (SR) 2A 110H
4th–Townsend Barton, Carterville (SR) 2A 300H
5th–Jaden Smith, Du Quoin (SR) 1A Long Jump
5th–Bryson Wilson, Marion (SR) 2A Long Jump
5th–Max Bremer, Massac Co. (SR) 2A Shot Put
5th–Isaac Teel, Pinckneyville (SO) 1A 3200m
5th–Gavin Genisio, Benton (SO) 2A 1600m
5th–Chris Nelson, Herrin (FR) 2A 200m
5th–Marion 4×400
T5th–Chris Nelson, Herrin (FR) 2A High Jump

Medalists–Top 9 (8)
6th–Colin Beers, Marion (SR) 2A Pole Vault
6th–Cole Johnson, Salem (JR) 2A Discus
6th–Josh Bevis, Christopher (SR) 1A 300H
7th–Du Quoin 1A 4×100
7th–Mt. Vernon 2A 4×100
7th–Isaac Stanford, Flora (SR) 1A 800m
7th–Bryson Wilson, Marion (SR) 2A 400m
9th–Landen Swiney, Du Quoin (SR) 1A 3200m

Full Class 1A results are here.
Full Class 2A results are here.

State Champions