Furlow Charter Falcons finish first, Lady Falcons finish runner up at Furlow Fast Feet Invitational
Published 12:07 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023
AMERICUS – It was a great day for the Furlow Charter (FC) boys and girls cross country teams. The boys’ team won the event and the girls’ team finished as the event runner-up at the Furlow Fast Feet Invitational held at the Sumter County Parks and Recreation course on Saturday, August 26.
The Lady Falcons finished with a total of 81 points and were just 53 points behind Lee County, who won the event with just 28 points. In the sport of cross country, the goal is to earn the least amount of points.
As far as the Furlow boys team was concerned, they won the event with a total of 50 points and edged out Cook, who finished as the runner up with 90 points.
Individually, FC’s Maria Kilheffer finished as the girls’ runner up with a time of 14:14.71. Kilheffer finished slightly behind the meet winner, Stella McClain of Lee County, who finished in a time of 14:13.67.
“I liked the race this morning. I went into it feeling a little worried because my iron has been low, but once I was running, I got into a groove and I was able to push past my worries and complete the race with a pretty successful tine,” Kilheffer said.
Elizabeth Arizmendi was the next Lady Falcon to cross the finish line, as she finished in ninth place with a time of 15:32.45.
Southland Academy (SAR) and Schley County (SCHS) were also competing in this meet and the next local runner to cross the finish line was Reese Graft of SAR. Graft finished in 17th place out of 82 competitors with a time of 16:33.45. Just a few places behind Graft was Schley County’s Mallory Crenshaw, who finished in 20th place with a time of 16:45.35 and Brianna Brown of SAR was right behind Crenshaw, as she finished in a time of 16:57.03.
The next local runner to cross was Schley County’s Peyton Goodin, who finished in 23rd place with a time of 16:58.56. “I was very nervous, but once I started, I did good,” Goodin said. This was the first cross country race for Goodin.
Not far behind Goodin came two more FC runners: Addison Drinnon and Syruis Zhang. Drinnon finished the race in 25th place with a time of 17:29.96 and Zhang right behind her with a time of 17:33.66.
The next local runner to cross the finish line in the girls’ race was Emily Wilder of Schley County, who finished in 34th place with a time of 18:26.17. Wilder’s teammate, Kaleigh Johnson, finished in 43rd place with a time of 19:20.95.
Other local runners who turned in strong finishes included Ashley Narvaez (FC) 19:26.14, Litzy Alejo (FC) 20:43.42, Brandi Ardon (FC) 20:50.82, Britton Cox (SCHS) 21:21.84, Abby Kirkland (SCHS) 22:12.28, Shelby Barfield (SCHS) 22:50.12, Dayrelene Lepiz (FC) 23:37.42, Sarah Renfroe (SCHS) 26:10.16 and Harley Eggers (SCHS) 27:50.21.
The Schley County girls team finished in fourth place with 135 points and Southland Academy did not place, as they only had one runner in the race (Reece Graft).
In boys’ action, the FC Falcons won the team championship with 50 points and edged out Cook High School, who finished as the runner up with 90 points.
Individually, the Falcons were led by Ian Biedermann, who finished in sixth place with a time of 12:13.22. Graham Harrod of Crisp Academy won the boys race and finished in a time of 11:47.97.
“The race was good. I had some troubles with my calves, but I pushed through it and I got the same time as last year. I really want to improve on my time and how I hold myself during the race,” Biedermann said.
The next local runner to cross the finish line was Ibis Gonzalez of FC, who finished in ninth place with a time of 12:29.56. Gonzalez’s teammate, Haydn Wright, finished right behind him in 10th place with a time of 12:35.33. A few spots back of Wright was Dennis Gonzalez of FC, who finished in 12th place with a time of 12:41.55.
The first Schley County runner to cross the finish line was Luis Sanchez, who finished 14th out of 88 competitors with a time of 12:44.86. While he was happy with his time, Sanchez knows that there are plenty of things that he needs to work on as the season progresses. “I think I need to work on my stamina because I did get a little tired throughout the race,” Sanchez said. “I woke up late. If I had woken up a little bit earlier, I feel like I would have done better.”
FC’s Jacob Wilson was the next local runner to cross the finish line and he finished in 23rd place with a time of 13:11.27. Not far behind Wilson was Schley County’s Markus Sowell, who finished 26th with a time of 13:18.66.
The first SAR runner to cross the finish line was Matteson Debaise. This event was somewhat challenging for him being that he played in a football game the night before. “This morning, I was a little nervous because I had a football game last night and I was worried that I might be tired today,” Debaise said. “But I woke up and Felt pretty good when I got here. I felt like I wasn’t at my peak today because I had football yesterday, but I felt like it was a good starting point for the season.”
Debaise’s SAR teammate, William Kinney, finished a few spots back in 35th place with a time of 13:47.81.
Other local runners who turned in strong performances in the boys race included Sterling Blanchard (SCHS) 14:23.76, Eli Grace (SCHS) 14:24.51, Declan Ekkel (SCHS) 14:40.14, Ty Grace (SCHS) 15:04.72, Cole Bartholome (FC) 15:37.63, London Lee (SCHS) 15:41.12, Hudson Barker (SCHS) 16:03.99 and Wiley Stewart (FC) 16:07.69.
Schley County finished in ninth place with 158 points and Southland Academy did not place, as they only had two runners in the meet.