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Lady Raiders take fourth at state XC meet, Raiders finish sixth

From STAFF REPORTS

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Following a very productive 2016 5season on the track, Southland Academy’s Cross Country teams, the Raiders and Lady Raiders headed to Augusta to participate in the state meet at the Augusta Day School.
Running on the three-loop, 5k course on the campus of the competitive academy, the Southland women brought home fourth-place honors while the Southland men finished sixth overall.
Southland Freshman, Ryliegh Bell, set the bar high for the Lady Raiders, capping off her all-region campaign with a personal-best time of 20:44 – good for 12th place overall.
Georgia Torbert finished in 27th place, followed closely by Calyn Fort (33rd), team Captain Sydney Hayes (35th), Alex Exum (37th), Reese Roland (40th) and Lilli Dickens (47th).
Trinity Christian School of Dublin was the overall winner, followed by Augusta Prep, Deerfield Windsor and Southland. Ashley Wood of Heritage (Newnan) was the individual winner of the women’s division.
Meanwhile, Deerfield-Windsor won the men’s overall team division, extending the region’s championship streak to four years in a row with Southland having taken the honors the previous three years.
Southland’s senior team captain, Billy Calcutt, earned a ninth-place finish, completing the course in 17:48. With his fifth consecutive All-State selection (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), Calcutt broke the previous record of four held by Wright Calhoun, who graduated last year and went on to become a top runner at Columbus State University.
Southland’s Gray Torbert took a 23rd-place finish, followed by Max Foster (46th) and Brinson Hubbard (47th). The remaining men who competed for Southland were Zach Calcutt, Gabe Roland, and Sam Copland.
Fellow Region 3-IAAA member, Tiftarea, took fifth place in the team standings, giving Southland’s region three of the top six spots in the state championship meet.
The Raiders and Lady Raiders were coached this season by Patrick Calcutt and Angie Bell, aided by distance consultant Bruce Skiles and workout volunteers Ed Shattles and Chad Bell.