Tigers Place 12th At First to the Finish Invitational

Jack Barker, Sports Editor

The EHS cross country team participated in the 10th edition of the First to the Finish Invitational on Sept. 14, the same course where the state race is held.

While the team placed 12th overall with 379 total points, it fell 150 points short behind the winners, New Trier. Although the team did not place in the top 10, it had multiple runners finish in the top 50 of their respective races.

Freshman Riley Knoyle placed eighth overall in the girls’ 3A race and was the only girl from EHS who placed inside the top 50. On the boys’ side, senior Jack Pifer placed eighth in the boys 3A race, while senior Zach Walters placed 46th in the same race.

Pifer had a time of 15:10.30, just eight seconds behind his course best, and Walters ran a 15:35.40, close to his personal record for the course.

Walters, who was unenthusiastic with his performance, believes there are some things he can continue to improve on.

“I performed well enough, but I feel like it would have been much better had I really made it a point to find our top guy,” Walters said.

Knoyle impressed with a time of 17:53.50.

“I have run the course before in middle school, but I have never ran in this big of a meet before,” Knoyle said.

Although running in a race this big can add pressure, Knoyle kept her mentality and preparation the same by keeping her mind clear and focusing on what she wanted to accomplish the day before.

In an interview with the Edwardsville Intelligencer, coach George Patrylak said, “We’re focusing more on the second half of the race. We have a solid top 10 and it’s going to be a battle each week as to who we put on the line.”

The team will continue its season on Sept. 21 at the Edwardsville invitational.