Raiders, Falcons and Wildcats hit the ground running at Furlow Fast Feet Invitational Meet
Published 4:58 pm Monday, August 29, 2022
AMERICUS – The Southland Academy, Furlow Charter and Schley County boys and girls cross country teams hit the ground running on Saturday, August 27, as they began their seasons at the Furlow Fast Feet Invitational hosted by Furlow Charter School at the Sumter County Parks and Recreation complex course.
In girls’ action, Southland Academy’s Brianna Brown was the first of the local female runners to cross the finish line. Brown finished in 21st place out of 101 runners with a time of 16:07.38. Right behind her was Elizabeth Arizmendi of Furlow Charter, who finished 22nd with a time of 16:08.23. “It was really exciting, but tough,” Arizmendi said. As far as how she can improve as the season goes on, Arizmendi said that she plans to work harder so that she can attain a top 10 performance next time. Arizmendi’s teammate, Jacklyn Chen, finished in 26th place with a time of 16:49.32. India Williams of Worth County won the race in a time of 14:18.15.
The next Southland Lady Raider to cross the finish line was Reese Graft. Graft finished in 30th place out of 101 runners with a time of 17:23.30.
The first Schley County female athlete to cross the finish line was Emily Wilder, who finished 46th out of 101 runners in a time of 18:19.42. The next local runner to cross was Furlow Charter’s Addison Drinnon, who finished in 50th place in a time of 18:38.21. Other local runners who turned in strong performances in this first meet of the season were Karen Perez-Juarez of Furlow Charter (19:15.06), Olivia Harper of Furlow Charter (20:25.01), Kaleigh Johnson of Schley County (20:41.83), Harley Parker of Furlow Charter (20:51.97), Abby Kirkland of Schley County (21:20.08), Brandi Ardon-Juarez of Furlow Charter (21:43.63), Dayrelene Lepiz of Furlow Charter (22:54.43), Taylor Hilliard of Schley County (24:11.14), Sarah Renfroe of Schley County (26:27.23) and Mikayla Jackson of Schley County )26:42.73.
Lee County won the team championship, Calvary Christian School finished in second place and Wilcox County finished in third. Furlow Charter had the best team finish in the girls’ race, as the Lady Falcons finished ninth, while Schley County finished in 13th place.
In boys’ action, Furlow Charter’s Ian Biederman turned in a top 10 finish by finishing in 10th place in a time of 12:01.85. Sawyer McGinnis of Crisp County won the boys’ race, crossing the finish line in a time of 10:45.45.
Though Biederman was pleased with his performance in his first race of the season, he felt that there are things that he needs to improve on as the season goes on.
“I probably have to work on my speed and how far I go. I also have to work on my dedication to the sport and I think that I need to work a little harder,” Biederman said.
The next local runner to cross the finish line was William Kinney of Southland Academy. Kinney finished 34th out of 151 runners in a time of 13:14.29. Right behind Kinney in 35th place was Edwin Gonzalez of Furlow Charter, who finished 35th in a time of 13:16.27. Gonzalez’s teammate and brother, Ibis Gonzalez, finished in 41st place in a time of 13:30.32.
Marcus Bateman of Furlow Charter was the next local runner to finish, as he crossed the finish line in 50th place in a time of 13:45.26.
The first Schley County male athlete to cross the finish line was Declan Ekkel, who finished 80th out of 151 runners in a time of 14:49.08. “I felt pretty good about the course, but in and out, how I felt afterwards was like, I could have run harder because I really didn’t feel that bad,” Ekkel said. “I feel that I could have run harder, but I feel pretty good about it (the race) and I feel pretty confident about the next race.” This year at the Furlow Fast Feet Invitational, the final part of the course was a steep hill that the runners had to push up before getting to the finish line.
The next local runner to cross the finish line was Dustin Arizmendi of Furlow Charter. Arizmendi finished 85th out of 151 runners with a time of 14:55.18. The next Schley County runner to cross was Hudson Barker, who finished 95th out of 151 runners with a time of 15:24.47. Other local male athletes who turned in strong performances in this race are as follows:
- Jordan Brown of Furlow Charter (15:41.24)
- Wiley Stewart of Furlow Charter (15:44.87)
- London Lee of Schley County (16:05.75)
- Cole Bartholome of Furlow Charter (16:19.24)
- Markus Sowell of Schley County (16:44.60)
- Kyler Walton of Schley County (17:35.27)
- Cody Campbell of Schley County (19:45.15)
- Kaleb Wiggins of Furlow Charter (19:59.51)
Cook High School won the boys’ team championship, followed by runners up Calvary Christian and third place finishers Lee County. Furlow Charter finished in ninth plays in the boys’ meet and Schley County finished in 12th place. Being that Southland Academy did not have enough runners in either the girls or boys races, the Raiders and Lady Raiders did not place in the team standings.
Being that this was the first meet of the season, Furlow Charter Head Coach Brittany Skiles was extremely pleased with how both the Falcons and Lady Falcons competed. “I thought everybody did great. They’re right where they need to be,” Skiles said. “It’s a good start to the season. They ran hard. They left it all on the course. They gave 100 percent, so I’m excited for what the future holds for Furlow Charter.”