CHARLESTON - Edwardsville senior distance runner Ryan Watts joined Stephen Pifer as the only Tiger runners to win state championships in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs as Watts won both events at the IHSA boys Class 3A track finals Saturday afternoon at O'Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

Watts won the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:11.16, and also won the 3,200 meters at 8:56.66, while Geo Patrylak finished ninth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:14.43. In addition, senior Jordan Brooks came in fourth in the triple jump, with a distance of 14.00 meters and sophomore Malik Allen was seventh, going 13.35 meters to help the Tigers tie for second in the team standings.

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Batavia won the team championship with 37 points, while the Tigers tied for second with Gurnee Warren with 30 points each, Minooka was fourth with 29 points, Glenview Glenbrook South, Oswego and Champaign Centennial all tied for fifth with 26 points apiece, Homewood-Flossmoor was eighth on 25 points, Hinsdale Central was ninth at 24 points and Normal Community rounded out the top ten with 23.5 points.

The performances on Saturday climaxed a great season for the Tigers.

"Our boys had a fantastic Saturday," said Edwardsville distance coach George Patrylak. "Ryan showed a lot of poise in his races. In the 3,200, he worked his way towards the front before throwing the hammer down with 1,100 meters to go. He surprised the field moving so early and gapped his competition before coasting it in in the final 50 meters."

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It was a very big moment for the Iowa State-bound Watts, who missed the entire 2021 season due to recurring foot injuries.

"For Ryan, it was a big moment, as he was able to overcome all of the difficulties of the previous year," Patrylak said.

Both Watts and Geo Patrylak ran good races in the 1,600 meters to enable Watts to win the double.

Watts cemented his legacy with the Tigers with his wins, joining Pifer as the only double winners in the distance races.

"He's among the best of the best to walk through Edwardsville's halls," Patrylak said. "What was most impressive about his limited opportunities in championship, he conducted himself and performed like a seasoned veteran."

Read More:

Apr 30, 2022 | Distance Runner Ryan Watts Is iCAN Clinic Male Athlete Of Month For Tigers Apr 30, 2022

Dec 10, 2021 | Senior Runner Ryan Luitjohan Commits To Southern Indiana, Is iCAN Clinic Co-Male Athlete of Month at EHS Dec 10, 2021

Dec 10, 2021 | Cross Country Star Ryan Watts Signs To Attend Iowa State, Is iCAN Clinic Co-Male Athlete of Month For EHS Dec 10, 2021

Jun 2, 2022 | Distance Standout Geo Patrylak Is An iCAN Clinic Male Athlete of Month For Tigers Jun 2, 2022

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