Southland Academy Boys and Girls XC teams take third place at region meet

Published 10:44 pm Monday, November 2, 2020

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From Staff Reports



VALDOSTA, GA – Both the Southland Academy Raiders (SAR) and Lady Raiders’ XC (Cross Country) teams finished in third place at the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) Region 3-AAA that was held on Friday, October 31, in Valdosta, GA.

“The region meet was highly competitive this year, but our team ran very well,” SAR Head Coach Buck Kinney said. “We have a very young team; the only team competing at region with no seniors. However, we had three runners place.”

Coach Kinney also praised the efforts of three runners who ran PRs (personal best times) in this race: eighth graders Shaw Pinnell and Mary Ramsey Collins and junior Kolden Kinney.

The Lady Raiders finished with a total of 74 points and were 14 points behind region runners-up Brookwood, who finished with 60 points. Valwood won the Region 3-AAA Championship with just 17 points. In the sport of Cross Country, the team goal is to accumulate the fewest points as possible.

Southland Academy freshman Noah Sheff was the region runner-up at the GISA Region 3-AAA XC meet last Saturday in Valdosta. Sheff finished in a time of 19:41.97, seven seconds behind Region Champion Kent Grayson of Brookwood (19:34.78).
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The SAR Boys finished in third place with 47 points and were just two points off region runners-up Tiftarea Academy, who finished with 45 points. Brookwood won the region championship and finished with just 34 points.

Individually, SAR freshman Noah Sheff very nearly won the boys’ race. Sheff finished as the region runner-up in a time of 19:41.37, which was just seven seconds off of the winning time set by Brookwood’s Kent Grayson, the region champion (19:34.78).

Sophomore Tanner Humphrey was the next Raider to cross the finish line. Humphrey finished in sixth place in a time of 20:31.81. Both Sheff and Humphrey finished in the top six and thus have qualified for this Saturday’s GISA State Meet in Macon.

Southland Academy sophomore Tanner Humphrey is in action at the GISA Region 3-AAA Meet. Humphrey finished in sixth place in a time of 20:31.81.
Photo by Beth Kinney

Freshman Lee Graft and eighth grader Shaw Pinnell finished in 12th and 13th place respectively for the Raiders. Graft crossed the line in a time of 22:49.53 and Pinnell finished right behind Graft in a time of 22:50.33. SAR junior Kolden Kinney also turned in a strong performance, as he finished the race in a time of 30:24.77.

In girls’ action, SAR junior Jadie Burrell was the top finisher for the Lady Raiders. Burrell finished in fourth place in a time of 23:02.64. Burrell’s teammates, sophomore Ella Arnold and freshman Julia Clare Hubbard, finished in 16th and 17th places respectively. Arnold crossed the finish line in a time of 26:40.93 and Hubbard followed right behind her in a time of 27:13.63. Hubbard was able to barely beat out SAR eighth grader Mary Ramsey Collins, who finished right behind Hubbard in a time of 27:19.89.

Southland Academy sophomore Ella Arnold finished in 16th place at the GISA Region 3-AAA Meet. Arnold crossed the finish line in a time of 26:40.93.
Photo by Beth Kinney

SAR sophomores Taylor Ragsdale and Maddie Godwin also turned in strong performances. Ragsdale finished the race in a time of 28:54.16 and Godwin finished right behind Ragsdale in a time of 29:37.65.

Southland Academy junior Kolden Kinney was one of three SAR runners who set new PRs (personal best times) for themselves. Kinney finished the Region 3-AAA Meet in a time of 30:24.77.
Photo by Beth Kinney

“We’re excited to get back to work for our last week of practice and look forward to finishing the season strong at the State meet Saturday,” said Coach Kinney.  The GISA State Meet will be held in Macon on Saturday, November 7.