FCS cross country kicks off inaugural season at Southland meet; Lady Raiders take first place

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2016


AMERICUS – Southland Academy opened the school’s 2016 cross country season on August 20 with the Southland Kickoff Cross Country Invitational and a set of newcomers participating; Furlow Charter School (FCS). The meet marked the first ever varsity sports competition for Furlow Charter School.
Ten schools participated in the event, with the Southland girls’ team taking first-place honors in their division. The Southland boys took third place behind Deerfield-Windsor (first) and Sherwood (second).
Other competitors at the event were Westwood, Westfield, Valwood, Grace Christian, Tiftarea, and Crisp Academy.
The Southland Lady Raiders earned the top spot by taking down the reigning GISA state champs from Deerfield-Windsor. With their seven-point win, the Lady Raiders continued their climb up the GISA rankings after taking third at last year’s state championships. The team placed four runners in the top ten, led by runner-up finisher; Sophomore, Calyn Fort. Junior team captain, Sydney Hayes, was sixth while freshman Ryleigh Bell took seventh, and the team’s lone senior, Paisley Greene, took tenth.
Junior¬, Lilli Dickens came in twelfth. Eighth graders, Reese Roland (16th) and Georgia Torbert (17th), rounded out the top seven in their respective varsity debuts.
Deerfield’s Camryn Bridges was the individual winner.
In the middle school races, Jadie Burrell led wire to wire in the girls’ division, completing the two-mile course in 14:07 to push her team to a third-place finish. Elizabeth Law came in fifth place, followed by Brooke Weisner (19th), Julia Claire Hubbard (20th), Lauren Duke (43rd), Ella Arnold (51st), and Talyn McCumber (56th).
The top finisher of the day for Furlow was Maya Wynn, who placed sixth in the middle school girls race.
In the varsity men’s race, Southland rolled out several new runners to replace the four Seniors who were on the state championship top seven last year. The Raiders finished third behind first-place Deerfield and nine points behind second-place Sherwood. The Raiders put two runners in the top ten.
Senior, Billy Calcutt, was the meet runner-up and freshman, Gray Torbert, earned a sixth-place finish. New runners, Brinson Hubbard and eighth-grader, Max Foster, finished 17th and 26th, respectively, followed by  Gabe Roland (39th), Zach Calcutt (40th) and Harrison Bell (45th), who made up the remainder of the Raiders’ top seven.
FCS hosts its first-ever Cross Country Invitational meet next weekend at the Sumter County Recreational Complex on Highway 19, while Southland travels to Tallahassee to take on teams from South Georgia and the Florida Panhandle in the Godby Cougar Invitational.