By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON — The Rams track and field team racked up a dozen wins in 24 events at their host relay meet Tuesday.
Mt. Vernon finished with 193 points at the Ram Relays. Other team scores were: Marion 140, Salem 121, Carbondale 73, Centralia 69 and Herrin 52.
“You always want to defend the home turf,” Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said. “I think we've won it three or four years in a row now. We didn't want to waste a good day because of the weather. So you want to make sure you're doing things right.”
Mt. Vernon won once in the field events. The Rams took away the top spot in the pole vault with a team height of 39 feet.
The Rams sealed their top spot with four straight first places to end the meet.
“That really puts a good ending to things,” Turner said. “It gets late, and it gets hot and a lot of kids have already ran two or three events and we're still scoring points and doing well.”
One of the victories came in the weight man 400 meter relay. The requirements to enter the race are an individual must also have competed in the weight events – shot put or discus – at the start of the meet. Mt. Vernon edged Herrin for the win by a hundredth of a second.
“It's winter time and those guys are talking big man's four by one,” Turner said. “They want to be on that, and they want to be able to do well.”
The relay meet shows the true depth of each school's track and field program. The 24 events include eight freshman/sophomore races. Mt. Vernon exhibited success in the young classes as well. The Rams won half of the freshman/sophomore races.
“What I like to do is make sure you compete in every event, and one of them we didn't,” Turner said. “I could have, but I chose just not to run the young kids in the intermediates. So you hope you can cover all the events and do well.”
Mt. Vernon travels to Collinsville on Saturday.