Southland XC high school and middle school runners finish strong at Bulldogs Distance Classic
From Staff Reports
FORSYTH, GA – The Southland Academy (SA) high school and middle school XC (cross country) teams traveled to Forsyth, GA on Saturday, September 7, to compete in the Bulldogs Distance Classic hosted by Mary Persons High School.
The SA girls’ varsity team finished in sixth place out of 12 schools represented with a total of 132 points. They were just four points shy of fifth-place finishers Upson-Lee, who finished with 128 points. In the sport of cross country, the higher a team places, the fewer points it accumulates.
Ryleigh Bell was the top Lady Raider finisher in the varsity girls’ race. Bell finished in fifth place individually with a time of 22:53.00. Bell’s teammate, Elizabeth Law, finished just three spots below in eighth place with a time of 22:59.80. Jadie Burrell had the Lady Raiders’ next best time at 26:27.70, followed by Ella Arnold (27:59.70) and Taylor Ragsdale (28:08.10).
Southland had only two varsity boys competing in the meet, but both Tanner Humphrey and Gray Torbert turned in strong performances. Humphrey crossed the finish line in 26th place out of 103 runners in a time of 19:23.97. Torbert finished the race in a time of 23:08.82.
The Middle School teams were split up into varsity and junior varsity races in order to allow for the large number of athletes competing. The Lady Raiders’ Middle School varsity team finished in fourth place out of 14 schools represented.
Julia Clare Hubbard was the top finisher for the Lay Raiders. Hubbard finished in eighth place with a time of 15:55.83 on the two-mile course, followed by Reese Graft (16:51.81), Brianna Brown (16:55.39), Amelia Kinnebrew (17:12.50) and Camile Cochran (20:18.57).
The SA Middle School boys’ varsity team tied for third place out of 16 schools represented. Due to not having a sixth runner to break the tie, the team ended up finishing in fourth place. Noah Sheff led the team with a third-place finish in a time of 13:02.54. Sheff’s teammate, Bryant Roland, finished 29th out of 90 runners competing with a time of 14:53.08. Mac McMichael finished the race in a time of 15:04.19, followed by Lee Graft (15:17.13) and Turner Simmons (15:27.88).
The Raiders and Lady Raiders would again place high in the Junior Varsity Middle School race. Leading all JV middle school girls and leading the Lady Raiders to a first-place team victory was Ansley Goolsby. Goolsby finished in first place with a time of 17:53, followed closely by Taylor Humphrey, who finished in third place with a time of 18:12. Savannah Grace Ewing finished in fourth place with a time of 19:27, followed by Braylee Campbell’s ninth-place finish (20:59) and Isabelle Saratsiotis’s 10th-place finish (21:00).
The JV Middle School Raiders didn’t have enough participants to place as a team, but the Raiders who participated ran well. Shaw Pinnell was the top SA finisher. Pinnell finished in seventh place with a time of 16:33, followed by William Kinney’s 10th-place finish (17:00). Matteson Debaise finished in a time of 18:20 and Luke McKie finished the race in a time of 18:59.
The Raiders and Lady Raiders will be back in action on Saturday morning, September 14, when they travel to Albany, GA to compete in the Deerfield-Windsor Invitational to be held at the Albany State West Campus.
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