Yesterday afternoon the GMC, Baldwin and Putnam County Cross Country teams headed up to Bogart, Georgia to run at the North Oconee Home Meet. This was a race on a challenging course against some strong competition. The Varsity girls led off the day and GMC was once again led by Freshmen Emma Nelson who ran a 23:55 and ended up in 27th place. Meredith McCook (57th), Lyssa Blair (68th), Mattison Strom (69th) and Mary-Elizabeth Jones (86th) rounded out the scoring for the team. They finished in 9th place in what was a very competitive field. The Baldwin High School girls team did not have enough runners to score as a team, but they were led by Nekebah Smith who finished 30th. To round out the local schools, Putnam County girls were led by Shelby Herring and Destiny Beltman who finished right next to each other (75th and 76th). The War Eagles finished in 11th place.
The Varsity boys ran next and continued their strong early season showing. Aaron Kirkland led the team with a 19:16 to finish in 17th place. Kaylon Farley (19th), Jacob Kauzlarich (27th), TJ Johnson (37th) and Ethan Yopp (46th) rounded out the scoring. The boys finished in 6th place out of 14 schools. Baldwin High School also participated in the
meet. The boys team ended up in 11th place and were led by Evans Simmons (39th) and Hezekiah Hartry (44th). The War Eagles of Putnam County were led by Avery Jones who finished in 56th place. As a team PCHS finished in 12th place.
Emilie Sherwood, who ran in the JV girls race finished in 49th place in her first 5k competition. Emilie was also the 2nd highest placed 8th grader in the entire JV girls race. There were 5 GMC 8th graders who ran the JV race for the first time. One of them, Colin McCabe ran a 19:23 to win the JV boys race. The team finished in 4th place, one point behind Hart County. Michael Barnes (14th), Carson Waters (16th), Logan Steinmeyer (37th) and Jacob Bailey (63rd) rounded out the scoring for GMC.
Speaking of the race, Emilie Sherwood said, “The course was really hard, but we all tried our best.” The North Oconee Community Cross Country course was a cooperative endeavor between the school district and the local community. Much of the labor to build the course was provided by locals at no cost. As a result of this partnership, the school as well as the community has a challenging course that all have a stake in.
Head Coach Debbie Barsby in reflecting on the race noted, “This was a good race for us. The course was challenging, the level of competition was high. In addition, the JV races allowed us to introduce some of our great 8th grade runners to the 5k distance. I am happy with todays results.”
The GMC Cross Country teams will have their next meet at Morgan County on 7 September. Baldwin High School will next run at the Augusta Prep Invitational on 10 Sept, while Putnam County will next run on 13 Sept at the Oglethorpe County Home Meet.