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Southland XC sweeps Weldon Invitational; JV takes 2nd, 3rd at state

From STAFF REPORTS

AMERICUS – With members of the family of the late Dr. Quinton Weldon on hand, the Southland men’s and women’s cross country teams swept the Dr Weldon Invitational meet at Southland on Oct. 10.
Southland’s middle school junior varsity runners have had a big week as well, with the girls taking second place at the state meet and the boys grabed a third-place finish.
The Lady Raiders varsity runners improved upon last week’s performance at FSU by lowering their team average time to 22:19 and outrunning second-place, Westfield by 34 points.
Americus-Sumter finished third in the women’s race.
For the Lady Raiders, freshman, Calyn Fort, was the individual winner, surging past Grace Christian’s Perra Harrell at the two-mile mark to claim the title in her personal best time of 21:21. Ryleigh Bell finished third with a time of 21:58. Sydney Hayes took fourth in 22:05, while Paisley Greene finished fifth in 22:51 and Lilli Dickens won seventh place in 23:21. Alex Exum finished eighth with a time of 23:33.
In four GISA invitational meets this year, the Lady Raiders have taken two first-place finishes and two runners-up.
Americus-Sumter’s Simran Sethi took tenth place overall to lead her team.
Southland’s men won the team competition as well, 35 points ahead of Americus-Sumter, who finished in second place.
Westfield took third place.
Wright Calhoun continued to stake his claim as one of the top runners in the GISA, showing his heels to the competition to win with a season-best time of 16:14. Southland junior, Billy Calcutt, was runner-up with a time of 17:18, followed by a pair of Southland seniors, Brian Miller in 18:05 and Ridge Roland in 18:45. Gray Torbert took sixth place in 19:09, while Ellis Ivey grabbed a ninth-place finish and Zach Calcutt took 16th place.
In the meet, Southland pushed its team average time down to 17:54.
Americus-Sumter’s Heeral McGee won fifth place, while his teammates Jesus Rivera and John Martinez finished eighth and 10th-places, respectively.
The Southland men have not lost a home meet since finishing as runner-up to Tiftarea in the 2011 Region Championship.
The Raiders returneded to action on Oct. 15, facing off against Americus-Sumter, Schley County, Crisp County and Marion County in Ellaville. The results of this meet were not available at press time.
The Southland middle school runners traveled to Dublin on Oct. 7, where the middle school girls took state runner-up honors behind the host team, Trinity Christian School.
Ryleigh Bell led the way for Southland with a sixth-place finish over the two-mile course.
Jadie Burrell took eighth place, Elizabeth Law came in 12th, Reese Roland took 13th, Georgia Torbert won 27th and Maddie Crisp came in 28th place.
In the boys race, Gray Torbert took runner-up honors with a time of 12:29, nine seconds off the winning time.
Torbert sped his way down the course to nab a third-place finish behind Deerfield and Trinity (Sharpsburg). Nathan Duke took eighth place honors, Tanner Humphrey came in 12th, and Connor Cloer finished 20th. John Henry Crisp came in 47th, followed by Will Toms, who finished 50th.

Submitted by Patrick Calcutt:   Americus-Sumter senior, Heeral McGee, (L) battles with Southland's Billy Calcutt (center) and Brian Miller (R) on the first mile at the October 10 Invitational

Submitted by Patrick Calcutt:
Americus-Sumter senior, Heeral McGee, (L) battles with Southland’s Billy Calcutt (center) and Brian Miller (R) on the first mile at the October 10 Invitational