The Richmond Hill High cross country teams recently competed in their first races of the season and are starting off with some good results.
On Aug. 26, both the varsity and junior varsity teams raced at the Battle of Atlanta in Hampton, Ga. The course was hillier than expected, but the varsity boys fared well with Jalen Murray leading the team with an eighth place finish in a field of 271. Senior Rakeem Littles was the second Richmond Hill finisher and placed 18th.
“We traveled to Hampton so we could gauge ourselves against the tougher Atlanta teams, Coach Levi Sybert said. “Our boys are exactly where they need to be at this point in the season. We can now monitor our progress against these other schools throughout the season all the way to the state meet in November.”
For the varsity girls, Jenn Thorpe took 29th place, leading the Wildcats with Kayla Gholar just two places behind.
“We have a couple good runners leading the squad and then have a gap to the next group of girls,” Sybert said. “With the right training, I feel confident that we'll close that gap by the end of the season.”
In the junior varsity girls’ race, Richmond Hill was led by Alexis Miller. Alex Mack, a first-year cross country runner, placed sixth for the boys and had a fast enough time to boost him to the No. 5 spot on the varsity squad. The high individual placings by the junior varsity boys earned them the third place trophy in their race.
“The determination toward success that was displayed by the JV boys really demonstrated to the area schools that Richmond Hill is a school with a deep foundation that should be followed,” Sybert said.
Last week, the teams traveled to Southeast Bulloch where all five varsity boys placed in the top 10 and they earned the first place trophy. The team was again led by Murray, who took first overall, winning his first-ever varsity race. The rest of the finishers for the boys were: Littles (4), Cooper Williams (7), Kyle Rushing (9), Dillon Brown (10), Alex Mack (11), Tim Carlson (12), Lucas Van Ginkel (12), Caleb Sahr (16), Noah Maxwell (17) and Corey Adamsky (20).
A storm moved in quickly and while the girls’ varsity race was able to start, the back half of the field had to be pulled from the course due to lightening. The full Richmond Hill girls’ squad was able to finish in the pouring rain though, and Jenn Thorpe won her first race of the season and all of the girls’ varsity squad placed in the top 22. The rest of the finishers for the girls were Gholar (3), Jenny Urso (7), Sara Kapheim (9), Gabby New (10), Mackenzie Winkworth (12), Kirra Perry (14), Taylor Elkins (17), Alexis Miller (20) and Ellie Skinkle (22).
The junior varsity race was cancelled due to weather.