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Not for the faint of heart
Area XC teams go to WAR
rh xc
Richmond Hill High School's Will Hammesfahr, left, runs alongside a runner from Bradwell Institute during the Wildcats' second Wetlands Adventure Relay near Sterling Creek. - photo by Avery Waters

Note: Waters is a Richmond Hill High School student and member of the cross country team.

This past Wednesday, the Richmond Hill High School cross country team hosted its second annual Wetlands Adventure Relay.

More commonly known as WAR, 299 runners from 13 different schools throughout the coastal empire made up 63 total relay teams at the event. These numbers are up significantly from last year’s 98 runners from five different schools and 20 relay teams. The goal of the event were for the four- or five-member relay teams to run as many 1Z2 mile trail loops as they could in a two hour time frame.

After having lost the tiebreaker last year against Camden County, redemption was sweet for the Wildcat team as they came out on top for the female division with five girls — Rachel Hammesfahr, Emily Hollowell, Alexis Arai, Daryn Lane, and Jennifer Thorpe — running a total of 36 laps.

Camden County High School was the winner of the coed group with 42 laps done by three boys and two girls.

Wayne County was victorious for the make division with an astounding 45 laps run by their team of four, with RHHS tying Statesboro High for second place with 42 laps.

Despite the glaring sun and the 87 degree temperature, all the teams did exceptionally well. Throughout the entire event, everyone was sharing smiles and making new friends amongst the teams as they awaited the moment to run their leg of the race.

"This event really took of this year, much more than expected," said Richmond Hill High School cross country coach Levi Sybert. "To have a growth of three folds in one year posed many immediate challenges that the parent volunteers of the cross country team were so willing to bridge. It was amazing to see the parents come together to support their children and the program in the way the did, as well as how the athletes pitched in to help and then switch hats to race as the athletes they are. It was a really inspiring day that could only have happened if we had Russ Carpenter and Chris Lovell of the Richmond Hill City behind us, as they there to take an initial idea that we had and make it happen so that many well beyond our program could fellowship in the glory of endurance events."

The RHHS junior varsity cross country team will next attend the Savannah Christian Prep meet on Thursday and the varsity will then attend the Aubrae Gunderson meet Saturday in Conyers.

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