Furlow Charter Lady Falcons finish fifth at Lee County Invitational

Published 8:29 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

LESBURG, GA – The Furlow Charter Lady Falcons Cross Country Team (FC) turned in a fifth place finish in the team standings at the annual Lee County Invitational Meet on Saturday, September 10 at the course at the Kinchafooney Primary School in Leesburg, GA.

The Lady Falcons finished in fifth place with a total of 204 points, followed by fourth place finishers Thomas County Central (194). Colquitt County finished in third place with 194 points, followed by the meet runners-up Lee County (120). The Valwood Lady Valiants won the girls’ team championship with 75 points. In the sport of cross country, the goal of each team is to score the fewest points as possible.

Furlow Charter’s Maria Kilheffer (left) tries to beat out Worth County’s Alexia Sokolowski (right) to the finish line at the Lee County Invitational Meet.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

In her first race of the season, FC’s Maria Kilheffer turned in a top 10 finish by finishing in ninth place in a time of 24:13.2. Ella Burnett of Valwood won the girls’ race in a time of 21:41.0. In this meet, many of the times the runners were turning in were slower than those from the Furlow Fast Feet Invitational held two weeks before simply because the Lee County course was longer at 3.1 miles, whereas the course at the Furlow meet was only two miles.

The next local runner to cross the finish line was Brianna Brown of Southland Academy. Brown finished in 17th place out of 152 competitors in a time of 26:05.9. FC’s Elizabeth Arizmendi was the next local runner to cross and she finished in 28th place out of 152 runners in a time of 26:55. Arizmendi’s teammate, Jacklyn Chen, finished in 44th place out of 152 competitors in a time of 28:24.

Southland Academy’s Brianna Brown finished in 1th place out of 152 female runners at the Lee County Invitational Meet. Brown crossed the finish line in a time of 26:05.9.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Southland Academy’s Reese Graft was the next local runner to cross the finish line and she finished in 51st place in a time of 28:41.6. Addison Drinnon of FC finished four spots behind Graft in 55th place in a time of 29:24.2. Two spots behind Drinnon was Schley County’s Emily Wilder, who finished 57th out of 152 competitors in a time of 29:47.7.

Two more FC competitors, Madeline Burns and Syruis Zhang, finished 68th and 69th respectively. Burns crossed the finish line with a time of 30:30.2 and Zhang turned in a time of 30:31.9.

Schley County’s Kaleigh Johnson finished the girls’ race in a time of 32:49.1 at the Lee County Invitational Meet.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The first Schley County competitor to cross the finish line was Kaleigh Johnson, who finished in a time of 32:49.1. Other local female runners who turned in strong performances in the Lee County Invitational are as follows:

  • Karen Perez-Juarez (FC): 33:13.1
  • Olivia Harper (FC): 33:51.3
  • Brandy Ardon-Juarez (FC): 35:43.1
  • Madison Hilliard (Schley County): 36:10.1
  • Abby Kirkland (Schley County): 36:10.6
  • Dayrelene Lepiz (FC): 39:18.9
  • Kaylee Taylor (Schley County): 41:45.9
  • Sarah Renfroe (Schley County): 41:51.0

In boys’ action, the Furlow Charter Falcons (FC) finished in 12th place in the team standings with 379 points and edged out the Valwood Valiants by two points (381). Atkinson County finished as the meet runners-up with 159 points and Cook High School won the boys’ team championship with 86 points. The Schley County Wildcats finished in 20th place with 741 points.

Furlow Charter’s Olivia Harper sprints toward the finish line in the Lee County Invitational Meet. Harper finished the race in a time of 33:51.3.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Individually, FC’s Ian Biedermann turned in the best finish of all the male competitors. Biedermann finished the race in 29th place out of 220 runners in a time of 21:00.4. “It was my first 5K so I’m pretty proud,” Biedermann said. “I definitely have to improve on how I develop myself and also how I produce better results.” Eyan Zupko of Worth County won the boys’ race in a time of 17:33.2.

Southland Academy’s William Kinney finished 32nd out of 220 competitors in a time of 21:06.3 in the boys’ race at the Lee County Invitational Meet.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Southland Academy’s William Kinney was the next local competitor to cross the finish line. Kinney finished 32nd out of 220 runners in a time of 21:06.3.

The next local runner to cross was FC’s Edwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez finished 50th out of 220 runners in a time of 21:42.1. Matteson Debaise of Southland Academy finished 10 spots behind Gonzalez in a time of 22:03.3 and his teammate, Noah Sheff, finished 64th out of 220 runners in a time of 22:25.9.

Schley County’s London Lee fights his way to the finish line. Lee finished the boys’ race at the Lee County Invitational Meet in a time of 25:46.9.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The next local runner to finish the race was FC’s Ibis Gonzalez, who finished in a time of 22:38.2. Gonzalez’s teammate, Dustin Arizmendi, finished 100th out of 220 competitors in a time of 23:50.9.

The first Schley County runner to finish the boys’ race was Declan Ekkel, who finished in a time of 24:20.6. Barker’s teammate, Hudson Barker, finished in a time of 24:38.5 and FC’s Edmund Chen finished five spots behind Barker, tying Leighton Mathis of Lee County for 128th place with a time of 24:48.7.

Juan Alejo of Furlow Charter pushes his way towards the finish line at the Lee County Invitational Meet. Alejo finished the boys’ race in a time of 25:44.9.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Both FC Falcons Jordan Brown and Wiley Stewart finished 138th and 139th respectively. Brown crossed the line in a time of 25:12.6 and Stewart finished right behind him in a time of 25:22.9.

Markus Sowell of Schley County was the next local runner to cross. Sowell finished the boys’ race in a time of 25:26.7. Juan Alejo of FC finished eight spots behind Sowell in a time of 25:44.9 and Schley County’s London Lee finished right behind Alejo in a time of 25:46.9. Lee completed the two-mile course at the Furlow Fast Feet Invitational in a time of 16:05.75, but found the Kinchafooney Primary School course, along with the cooler September weather, to be more to his liking. “It was a lot more steady ground. It was flatter, I feel like. It was cooler,” Lee said. “Overall, it was an easier race, just a longer distance.”

Other local male athletes who turned in strong performances are as follows:

  • Cole Bartholome (FC): 26:38.9
  • Cody Campbell (Schley County): 32:06.5