Southland Cross Country excels at Godby Cougar Invitational in Tallahassee

Published 10:41 am Monday, September 12, 2016


TALLAHASSEE – The Southland Lady Raiders Cross Country team, fresh off its season-opening win at the Kick-off Invitational, headed south to Tallahassee on August 27 along with a number of Georgia schools to take on Florida 3-A State Champ, Chiles High School, and more than a dozen other Florida programs at the Godby Cougar Invitational. The meet was set at a nature park along the shores of Lake Jackson north of Tallahassee.
The individual runners sought the coveted invitational shirts awarded to the top-25 finishers in each race.
The Lady Raiders took sixth-place overall among the 20 full teams to score at the meet and were the top team from Georgia in attendance, overtaking Lowndes County, Valdosta, Bainbridge, Westover, Thomas County Central, and Tift County as well as GISA opponents, Brookwood and Grace Christian.
Ryleigh Bell led the way for the Southland girls, getting into the top 25 with a 22nd-place finish. Bell was followed closely by teammates, Calyn Fort (28th), Sydney Hayes (32nd), and Paisley Greene (49th). Eighth-grader, Georgia Torbert, came in 52nd place while Alex Exum finished 61st and Lilli Dickens came in 72nd.
A total of 224 runners competed in the division.
The Lady Raiders’ 1:49 spread between their first and fifth runners was the best of every team in the meet except for the first place finisher, Chiles.
In the Men’s Race, senior team captain, Billy Calcutt, turned in a-20th place run among the 255 competitors to bring home an individual award and lead his team to a 14th-place finish out of 22 full teams. The Raiders finished 15 points ahead of Westover.
GISA opponents, Grace Christian and Brookwood, finished 18th and 19th, respectively.
The other Raiders, who finished the packed five-kilometer race, were Gray Torbert (88th), Max Foster (121st), Zach Calcutt (138th), Gabe Roland (180th), Harrison Bell (199th), Brinson Hubbard (203rd), and Trent Rundle (232nd).
Jadie Burrell and Elizabeth Law continued their strong runs in the middle school girls’ division, with Burrell taking second overall and Law earning 13th place.
Though missing several top runners, the Southland middle school girls placed fourth out of seven full teams; 12 points ahead of Valdosta Middle School.
Other finishers were: Macie Deriso (40th), Julia Claire Hubbard (41st), Ella Arnold (56th), Anslee Rooks (71st), and Taylor Ragsdale (86th).
The middle school boys did not have enough runners to score as a team, but Tanner Humphrey pushed his way into the top 10, taking ninth-place over the 3000-meter course. Humphrey was joined by teammates, Fisher Britt (64th), Noah Sheff (104th), and Lee Graft (107).
With action in both the GISA and the FHSAA behind them, the Raiders and Lady Raiders now set their sights on the GHSA at the Lee County Cross Country Invitational, scheduled for September 10.