Both high school and junior high cross country teams had meets again last week, facing high temperatures, challenging courses, and tough competition. Despite these challenges, all teams continue to have runners who place well in the final standings. With the XC season about halfway finished, both CHS and CJH hope to continue the success they have had thus far all the way to season’s end.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, the CHS Cross Country team competed in the Huntingdon Stampede 5K. Despite a heat index near 100 degrees, the Lions raced hard and fast, with three runners earning top 20 medals and many others achieving season best times.
Freshman Bailey Morris ran a smart race, securing second place out of 158 girls in a finish time of 21:39. Seniors Amber Collins (22nd, 24:38, personal record) and Brittney Fox (25th, 25:11), along with freshmen Elli Reynoldson and Maribel Conchas, also scored. The Camden’s girls’ team earned 4th place out of 15 teams to lead all Region 7 teams.
The boys’ race started with a blistering pace, with the lead pack passing the 1-mile mark in less than five minutes. CHS freshman Will Douglas scratched his way through all but three seniors from large schools, placing fourth out of 203 runners with a season best time of 17:35. Senior Eyan Hudson (18th, medal, 19:02), freshman Beau Smith (19:56), senior Ethan Rickard (20:43), and freshman Briley Siler (23:08) rounded out Camden’s top five scorers.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, the CJH Cross Country team competed at the Dickson Invitational 2-mile race held at Buckner Park, a course known for its challenging hills and top competition from all over the mid-state. Once again, runners faced blazing temperatures during their runs.
The boys’ team raced first, with everyone nervous and excited to see how they would fare with 240 runners toeing the line, their largest race to date. The Lions showed their toughness placing second out of 17 teams!
The team effort was led by eighth grade phenom Ridge Bruce, who overtook last year’ state finalist to get the victory in a time of 11:15! Seventh graders Ayden Melton (4th, medal), Pete Douglas (18th, medal), and Angelo Arnold (22nd) and sixth grader Matthew Arnold (38th) scored for Camden, securing the second place trophy.
The girls’ team raced well in their first 2-mile event of the season. For many of the CJH girls, it was their first 2-mile ever. Emma Pierce led all Lady Lions in 25th place (15:11), closely followed by Abbi Grace Wallace (26th, 15:16). Alyssa Travis, Lauren Pierce, and Ava Tubbs completed the top five scorers for the girls’ team.
Next up for the CJH team is another 2-mile race at Parker’s Crossroads on Friday, Sept. 20. The CHS team races next at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Top CHS runners Morris and Douglas currently lead the pack among Division 1 small schools in Region 7, and hope to carry their early season successes through to the Regional high school race in October.