Teams from Alexander, Chapel Hill and Douglas County kicked off the 2014 cross country season over the weekend at the annual Bob Blastow Early Bird Classic. Over 40 schools competed in the meet, which was held at Clinton Park in Villa Rica.
In the varsity boys race, the Cougars of AHS led the local schools with a second place finish, recording 87 points. They finished behind only Woodward Academy (37). Douglas County finished ninth with 215 points and Chapel Hill placed 11th with 273 points.
Leading Alexander was Lance Smith, who finished fifth overall with a time of 16:24.79.
“Lance has worked his butt off and that is his 32nd person record,” said AHS coach Brian Robinson. “I really think he has a chance to break 16 minutes later this season.”
Also placing for the Cougars were Tyler Whorton (9th, 16:34.98), Kamil Jones (11th, 16:51.10), Braeden Collins (27th, 17:46.32), and Austin Muse (35th, 18:15.71).
“I thought we did pretty good but it could have been a lot closer but [Collins’] performance was a little off and we still need to do something about the fifth spot,” Robinson said. “It was not bad with a pair of freshman and a sophomore in the top five and we are a lot further ahead of the game than we were last year.”
Douglas County was led by Evan Doty and Jacob Asberry who finished 33rd and 34th respectively. Doty ran a 5K time of 18:11.02. Ashberry finished at 18:15.57. Also placing for DC were Justin Hendee (18:21.73), Jordan White (18:39.46), and James Hood (63rd, 19:08.98).
“I was very proud of how the guys ran and a lot of them are a lot farther ahead than when we started out last year,” said DC coach Lyssa Hilko. “This is really good for us since we want to 3-peat as region champions this year.”
Chapel Hill received a tremendous performance from Wilson Moore, who placed fourth overall with a time of 16:23.44. Also placing for the Panthers were Caleb Searles (32nd, 18:08.90), Michael Daniels (65th, 19:13.04), Daniel Large (82nd, 19:53.88), and Nic Culkin-Taylor (90th, 20:41.94).
Blessed Trinity won the girls race with 77 points, edging out both St. Pius X (88) and Mcintosh (88). Alexander finished 12th with 318 points. DC was 13th at 320, and Chapel Hill finished 14th at 383.
Carleigh Camp led the Lady Cougars with a 22nd place time of 21:21.29. Also placing were Anna Scasny (66th, 23:35.95), Mikaela Talbot (24:18.16), Victoria Falkner (78th, 24:43.47) and Ireland Loudermillk (80th, 24.46.14).
Jenna Adams led DC with a 51st place time of 2:42.92. Adams currently only competing in cross country part-time because of her participation on the volleyball team. She will join the cross country team full time after volleyball season. Also placing were Meredith Townsend (61st, 23:31.60), Olivia Dingle (64th, 23:37.97), Victoria Westfield (65th, 23:46.30) and Liana Ha (79th, 24:44.53).
“We did not have everyone out,” Hilko said. “We have a couple of girls who are sick but the ones that did run, most performed better than they did last year.”
The Lady Panthers were led by Eyonnti Edwards with a 48th place time of 22:26.37. Also placing were Rachel Norris (62nd, 23:33.68), Samantha Anderson (87th, 25:03.52), Lauren Owens (88th, 25:07.15) and Olivia Arrendondo (98th, 26:12.09).
The Landmark Christian girls cross country team, led by two Douglas County natives, won the second girls varsity race of the evening, which was for lower classifications. Landmark finished second behind Cambridge with 89 points.
Landmark’s Kathryn Foreman won the race in a time of 18L24.71, blowing out the field by nearly a full minute. Sara Foreman, a freshman for Landmark, finished second in a time of 19:24.70.