Southland Academy XC Boys earn Region Championship and Lady Raiders finish third

Published 8:56 pm Monday, October 25, 2021

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From Staff Reports



AMERICUS – The Southland Academy Boys’ XC (Cross Country) team won the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) Region 3-AAA Championship and the Lady Raiders finished in second place at the GISA Region 3-AAA Meet held at Southland Academy on Saturday, October 23.

The Raiders finished the meet in first place with 43 points, followed by runners-up Tiftarea Academy (49 points), Brookwood (53 points) and Valwood (75 points).

In the sport of Cross Country, the way a team can finish at or close to the top of the standings is to accumulate the fewest points possible.

Individually, several SAR runners shined on their home course. In boys’ action, junior Tanner Humphrey finished in third place out of 25 competitors. Humphrey crossed the finish line in a time of 19:10.42. Jude Bailey of Tiftarea Academy was the boys’ region runner-up (18:21.98) and Kent Grayson of Brookwood finished as the region champion, as he was the first to cross the finish line (17:31.81).

Sophomore Noah Sheff was the next Raider to cross the finish line. Sheff turned in a top 10 performance by finishing in fifth place with a time of 19:19.74.

The next SAR boys’ athlete to cross the finish line was freshman Matteson Debaise. Debaise finished in 10th place in a time of 21:10.20. Freshman Shaw Pinnell and sophomore Lee Graft finished one behind the other in 12th and 13th place respectively. Pinnell crossed the finish line in a time of 21:22.79 and Graft finished right behind him in a time of 21:38.89. Eighth Grader William Kinney (22:13.31)

and Senior Mathew Peck (23:20.26) also turned in strong performances in the boys’ region meet.

Southland Academy Senior Jadie Burrell is seen here jumping out to the lead in the region meet. Burrell finished as the GISA Region 3-AAA runner-up in the girls’ meet.
Photo by Carol Burrell

In girls’ action, Southland Senior Jadie Burrell finished as the region runner-up, crossing the finish line in a time of 22:49.28. Burrell finished approximately 51 seconds behind sophomore Ella Burnett of Valwood, who won the race and finished as the region champion with a time of 21:40.40.

Eighth Grader Brianna Brown of SAR was the next Lady Raider to cross the finish line. Brown finished in fourth place in a time of 23:46.19, just 27 seconds behind third place finisher Emma Burnett of Valwood (23:19.36).

Eighth Grader Reese Graft was the next Lady Raider to cross the finish line. Graft finished the race in eighth place with a time of 24:16.24. Three Lady Raiders finished the girls’ region meet in the top 10. SAR juniors Maddie Godwin and Ella Arnold also turned in strong performances in the region meet. Godwin crossed the finish line in a time of 27:46.54 and Arnold finished the race in a time of 28:12.67.

The Lady Raiders finished in third place as a team with 58 points They finished just seven points behind meet runners-up Tiftarea Academy (51 points) and 27 points behind Valwood, who won the girls’ region championship with 31 points.

Both the Raiders and Lady Raiders will compete in the GISA Class AAA State Meet this Saturday, October 30, in Macon.