Saturday, Aug. 31, was a memorable day for the Camden Cross Country teams as they traveled to Memphis to compete in the Memphis Twilight Classic at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Teams from all over the Southeast flocked to this annual Labor Day Weekend event to test themselves against the best.
The middle school 2K (1.24 mile) races were held first, and the CJH boys’ team announced their arrival with a third place finish. Finishing only 8 points behind two Memphis-area powerhouse schools was quite an accomplishment for the CJH boys.
Camden was led by 8th grader Ridge Bruce in third place (5:19/mile pace) and 7th grader Ayden Melton in fifth place (5:21/mile pace). These runners earned prized red shirts for their “Top 10” finish.
Also placing in the middle school races were Pete Douglas (23rd), Angelo Arnold (33rd), and Matthew Arnold (48th), who added to the team’s overall score and third place finish. The CJH girls top finishers included Faith Wallace (44th), Kayedence Christopher (45th), and Emma Pierce (48th).
“Our goal for the day was to place in the top three teams and have a few of our runners grab those red shirts, and they performed to perfection!” declared XC Coach Amber Douglas. “Seeing all our gold jerseys race into that stadium was so awesome! It was a total team effort.”
Next up were the high school 5K events, which began at twilight with nearly 600 athletes competing. The start on the long, terraced fields was like a stampede as athletes fought for position before heading into the first sharp left turn.
CHS freshman Bailey Morris met her goal of placing in the top 30 with a 28th place finish and a new personal best 5K time of 20:50. Amber Collins, Brittney Fox, and Maribel Conchas followed for the Camden girls.
Freshman Will Douglas also earned a new season best 5K time of 17:59, as he led all CHS scorers. Teammates Eyan Hudson (19:10), Beau Smith (20:12), Ethan Rickard (21:26), and Briley Siler (22:29) followed Douglas to the finish.
Coaches Sarah Comuzie and Douglas appreciate all the supporters and parents for making this Memphis trip possible for the Camden teams to participate in such a challenging race.
It is great experience for these runners to get to race on a big stage with top-notch competition from the Southeast region.