By Joe Gisondi

Charleston’s Alex Stout blew away the competition in the Apollo Conference shot put, heaving it more than six feet farther than the runner-up Thursday evening.

Stout sent the shot 52 feet, 2 inches – more than 11 feet farther than when he had finished sixth in last year’s Apollo Conference meet.

Stout said weight training has made a big difference. He also changed his technique a few months ago, shifting from a glide approach to a spin move near the end of the indoor season.

“I transitioned into the spin after seeing everybody doing that at the state indoor meet,” Stout said.

Stout, who took fourth in the discus at last year’s conference meet, finished second Thursday behind Mahomet’s Robert Byron with a toss of 39.47 meters – roughly 129 feet, 5 inches.

Stout unleashes a toss in the discus Thursday.

Mattoon junior Teygen Sewell, meanwhile, took the girls shot put event, edging Mt. Zion freshman Ava Anderson by .05 meters – or roughly two inches. Sewell also finished second behind Charleston champion Mackenzie Williams in the discus, tossing it 29.56 meters, .77 meters behind.

Williams took sixth in the shot put at 8.53 meters.

The Greenwave’s Alija Mosley also captured an Apollo title after soaring 1.75 meters to take the boys high jump. Charleston’s Gavril Amartey finished .05 meters back for third.

Charleston’s Olivia Conn takes off for one of her final attempts in the triple jump.

Charleston’s Olivia Conn took second in the triple jump in just her third time competing in the event. The junior soared 9.72 meters – just .23 meters behind Mahomet’s Meah Beacham.

Conn then came within 4.7 inches of taking the long jump title as well, leaping 4.8 meters, or about 15 feet, 8 inches – more than a foot shorter than her season-best of 17 feet during the Mattoon Invitational a few weeks back. Conn said she was a little disappointed after having entered the meet ranked first in the long jump, but she said fatigue might have played a part.

“I think my body is just a little tired,” Conn said. “I think I Just need rest and ice to be ready for sectionals and, hopefully, state,” she said.

Nonetheless, she was pleased to have moved up a spot from last season’s Apollo meet, where she had placed third.

Still, it is the triple jump that fascinates her more right now.

“It’s kind of hard to master,” Conn said. “But the fact that I caught on so quick. It’s really fun.”

Mattoon’s 4×200 relay team of Makala Brown, CeAzia Wade, Izzy Sanders and Ryleigh Grayson took second in 1 minutes, 53.98 seconds – 4 seconds behind Mt. Zion.

Some other local highlights in the Apollo boys:

  • Caleb Oakley, a CHS senior, was barely edged in the 100 meter high hurdles, clocking the same time as the runner-up in 16.68 seconds for third place. MHS senior Gavin Cline followed in fourth in 18.23.
  • Charleston sophomore Blake Homann set a PR in the 3,200, running 10:12.75 for third place.
  • Also placing third: CHS’s 4×200 relay team of Parris Coopwood, Luke Nelson, Langdon King and Jeremiah Hayes in 1:34.15.
  • Mattoon senior Andy Karpus took third in the 400 meters, running 52.15 seconds, which was also a PR.
  • Charleton’s Ethan McBride took third in the triple jump (11.94 meters) and fourth in the long jump (5.74 meters). Jeremiah Hayes finished just .02 meters, or less than an inch, back for fourth place. Mattoon’s Dylan Sledge was fifth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump.

Some other local highlights in the Apollo girls:

  • Charleston freshman Samantha Fehrenbacher took sixth in the 300 hurdles, finishing in 56.26 seconds. Fehrenbacher was also part of a 4×400 relay team, along with Olivia Conn, Malia Hodges and Ila Richter that finished fifth in 4:25.36 – 2.08 seconds behind Mattoon’s squad of Emily Maple, Wade, Grayson and Brown.
  • Maple also started off MHS’s 4×800 relay that took fourth in 10:48.39, along with Brooke Jobe, Ellie Miller and Kaelyn Ryan.
  • MHS’s Imani McGee took fourth in the long jump (4.46 meters) and fifth in the 100 meters, clocking 13.6 seconds.


1.Mt. Zion151 
4.Charleston 58 


1.Mt. Zion 187.33 
2.Mahomet 128.5 
3.Effingham 59.33 
4.Taylorville 58 
5.Mattoon 53.83 
6.Lincoln 38 
7.Charleston 33