Clinton High School hosted a cross country meet on Tuesday afternoon -- with Clinton, Laurens, Mid-Carolina, Broome, Chapman, Woodruff and Laurens Academy -- and took 1st place in both boys' and girls' races. The Crusaders did not compete in team points.
The girls' scores were Clinton with 40 points, Broome with 44, Mid-Carolina 67, Laurens 88 and Chapman 102.
Clinton’s Elizabeth Reid had a 2nd-place finish overall with a time of 21:44 for the girls. Chapman’s Emma Whittaker came in 1st place with a time of 20:59 and Cameron Wicker of Mid-Carolina came in third at 24:20.
The best runner on the girls’ team, Reid said she through the race was going to be challenging, so her main emphasis was to be close to the top throughout.
“I felt really strong going out and I wanted to stay in the front because I knew the second half of the course is really difficult. I just start out strong and try to finish as best I can,” she said.
On the boys’ side, Red Devils runners William Reid and Charlie Cody had top-5 finishes with Reid finishing at 18:52 and Cody at 19:08.
Clinton scored 33 points, trailed by Chapman with 71, Broome 76, Laurens 94, Mid-Carolina 123 and Emerald 127.
Sam Brome of Chapman came in 1st overall in the boys’ race with a time of 18:04.
Laurens’ Jose Garcia-Rivas had a 7th with a time of 19:59. Despite getting a little nervous before the race, Garcia-Rivas was pleased with his overall result.
“It was pretty good. I tried not getting into my head a lot, because I really doubted myself going up that hill twice, but I try to maintain and stay focused in order to finish the race,” he said.
Even though the team had an event at the Milliken Center in Spartanburg on Saturday, Red Devils coach Lee Atkinson was happy with how his runners performed in a short turnaround.
“I thought we ran well today,” Atkinson said. “It’s very difficult to run a morning race at Milliken, where it’s a little bit flatter and it was a lot cooler. I think it was like 62 or 63 degrees when we started running. To come back to an afternoon meet where you got the big hills you have and it wasn’t really hot, but it was really muggy. I know the times weren’t quite the same like Saturday, but I thought we were really competitive today on the boy and the girls.”
Laurens coach Thomas Moore knew it was a challenging course but was happy with how both of his teams performed. He pointed to his team’s close bonds and its work ethic for the success.
“For us, it was a really challenging course, but we had a lot of newcomers that did an excellent job. We had a lot of people close and people working really hard. Overall, I’m very pleased with our progress at this point,” Moore said.
Hills, different surfaces and a bit of drizzle meant it wasn’t an easy route for the runners.
“We really need to work on hills, do more speed, so we can finish strong and finish the race,” Garcia-Rivas said.
Atkinson pointed to more important goals ahead.
“We are really training for the region championship, the county championship and the qualifier,” Atkinson said. “The boys have been very fortunate. We’ve won three region championships since 2012 and the girls have yet to win one. So right now, our girls have been competing. It looks like it’s going to be a tight race between Broome, Chapman, and us.”
Laurens next competes Saturday at 9 a.m. at the URC Patriot Classic while Clinton visits Chapman (in Inman) for a meet on Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m.