The White County cross country teams got the high school season started last weekend with a trip to Rome for the annual Clara Bowl Invitational at Berry College.
The Lady Warriors posted a Top 10 finish, placing eighth among 16 teams in the varsity girls division, while the Warriors were 11th among 22 teams in the varsity boys division.
“It was an awesome start for us, and we're looking stronger than ever,” WCHS head coach Matt Dover said. “We had a great meet.”
The Lady Warriors, who are ranked No. 6 in the latest Class AAAA state poll, were paced by senior Ellie Gearing, who turned in a time of 20:57 to finish 16th among 155 runners in the field, and earn recognition for a place in the Top 20 group.
Junior Sydnee Nix was next for the Lady Warriors, finishing 29th with a time of 21:27, while freshman Nealeigh Broadwell made her varsity debut by breaking in the Top 40 with a time of 21:47 to finish 38th.
Josie Stover was next for WCHS, finishing 65th with a time of 22:29, while Maggie Davidson had a time of 22:45 to finish 71st. Reese Vandegriff was 75th in her varsity debut, posting a time of 22:51, Lily Gearing finished 82nd at 23:19, and Michalla Corcimiglia was 99th at 24:02. Leah Alexander (24:30) and Ella Blair (25:36) rounded out the WCHS contingent.
Oconee County won the girls' team title with 56 points, with Lambert (83), Harrison (106), Mill Creek (111) and Lovett (147) rounding out the Top 5 teams. Douglas County's McKenna Croft turned in a time of 19:02 to win the race, with Oconee County's Jenna Champers (19:30) and Harrison's Riley Perlakowski (19:35) finishing second and third, respectively.
On the boys' side, the Warriors had a pair of runners break into the Top 25. Junior Eamonn O'Bryant led the way with a time of 17:34 to finish 21st out of 184 runners, while senior Iyan Windham posted a time of 17:43 to finish 26th.
Dominic Stevens was 90th with a time of 19:16, while Lance Kelley turned in a time of 19:28 in his varsity debut to finish 99th. Maverick Aguilar was 119th with a time of 19:52, Kyler Mayo had a time of 20:30 in his first varsity event, and Isaac Sosebee posted a time of 23:04. Hector Molina (23:07), Dakota Seabolt (23:30) and Wyatt Churchwell (24:20) completer the Warriors' lineup.
Lambert took the team title, compiling 65 points, while Mill Creek (86), Marietta (110), Harrison (111) and Lovett (141) rounded out the Top 5 teams.
Marietta's Kamari Miller had a time of 16:05 to win the race, followed by Lambert's Cooper Bocko (16:12) and Lovett's Jackson Borden (16:34)
War Eagle Invitational
A group of WCHS junior varsity runners and middle school runners competed in the War Eagle Invitational last week at Chestatee High School.
In the JV girls' race, White County's Hailey Bailey brought home a Top 5 finish, posting a time of 26:50 to finish fourth out of 71 runners. Lydia Davidson had a time of 31:53 to finish 32nd, and Riley Robinson was 58th at 35:18.
In the JV boys' race, Cole Gearing led the way for the Warrior runners with a time of 23:12 to finish 31st out of 184 runners. Josh Kerlin posted a time of 26:19, Jeremiah Potts finished at 40:34, and Carlos Martinez had a time of 41:46.
The White County Middle School girls' squad posted a fifth-place finish among 19 teams.
Clodagh O'Bryant paced the effort with a time of 13:58 to finish third among 254 runners in the race behind Loganville Christian's Azalea Snell (13:30) and Chestatee's Caroline Bull (13:56).
Jada Palumbo was next with a time of 15:24 to finish 17th overall, while Mya Yeh was 46th with a time of 16:57. Lily Gann was 69th at 17:38, while Sarah Blair was 71st at 17:38. Lydia Durden (18:10), Aubrey Free (18:24), Annabelle Brackett (18:25), Shaylee Crane (18:31), Brianna Blihovde (20:06), Gracie Kimbrell (20:22), Amberly Adams (22:18), Mae Egerton (23:24), and Ana Pruitt (24:24) complete the Lady Warriors' lineup.
In the boys' middle school race, the Warriors were 15th among 20 teams in the field.
David Boman garnered a Top 10 finish for the Warriors, posting a time of 12:52 to place seventh overall among 299 runners. Brett Fortner was next for WCHS, finishing 61st at 14:31. Dylan Ayala (15:31), Logan Long (15:46), Rafael Miguel (16:45), Josiah Mawdesley (16:46), Matthew Shelby (17:47), Jesse Lovell (18:09), Aiden Pickett (19:40), Devin Hannah (20:11), Colin Fernandez (20:21), Matthew Heeren (20:24), Griffin Harper (20:50), and Hayden Vandegriff (25:43) rounded out the WCMS lineup.