Daniel, Hilton Head Win Coaches Classic Titles

Heat and humidity partly stopped the Bob Jenkins SCTCCCA Coaches Classic.

But, the elements couldn't halt 
Daniel from having a banner day.

The Lions downed defending 5A champion 
Riverside 105-127 in the Girls International race on Saturday at Sandhills Research Center in Columbia. Daniel earned the team title with its one-two punch of Mari Cagle Lockhart (S.C. No. 1) and Ally Wilson (S.C. No. 3), who finished as medalist and runner-up, respectively. Lockhart finished with a time of 18:41.08, while Wilson finished at 19:15.74. The Warriors competed without Jessie Crowley (taking ACT). 

"I think that South Carolina's been doing well. I'm excited to see what the future has in store,"
 Lockhart said in a post race interview.

Three races, the Boys Championship and Boys Junior Varsity 5Ks, were cancelled due to the South Carolina High School League and National Federation rules regarding dangerous conditions due to heat. It was the first time in the meet's history that races were cancelled as a result of the rule.

Fort Mill  (173), Dorman (176) and Dutch Fork (243) placed third through fifth in the girls International race. Macey Morgan (Mauldin) finished third individually, followed by Lexington's Ava Grace Fowler and Heathwood Hall's Jais Ward.

It was a battle to the finish for the state's top two runners (watch the race) in the boys International race. Hilton Head's Sam Gilman edged Greer's Coen Roberts by under two seconds to finish as medalist. Gilman crossed the finish line at 16:01.72, while Roberts recorded at time of 16:03.01.

"The race worked out exactly how I wanted it to," Gilman said. "I knew it wouldn't be a race for time. It would be more of a tactical race. It was hot. It was like 100 degrees (with) the heat index or something crazy. It was fun to get out there and run in the heat for sure."

Gilman added had been nursing a cold over the past week. He said coming out in first place was gratifying.

"It's nice to get the win today," Gilman said. "For me,  this season, it's all about my team and not about me. It's also about proving all the doubters wrong, whether that be runners or coaches who are aiming for me or aiming for our team. Let's face it. We're the best team in the state. I'm the best runner in the state. When you have that, you have people aiming at you... I felt confident the whole race that I was going to win."

Roberts was coming off a medalist victory at the
Eye Opener last week in Spartanburg. He said that a runner-up finish wasn't what he wanted but a strong finish nonetheless.

"Going into today, I checked the weather and knew it was going to be hot," Roberts said. "I think all of the guys planned to go out kind of slower and conservative and finish the race hard. There was a big pack going into a mile or a mile and a half. Down in the woods, (Gilman and I) just lost them. I don't know exactly where. Once we got to the hill, it was just me and him left... It was a battle to the end. It feels alright I guess. I always want to get the win, but there will be other chances during the season."

Noah White finished third, followed by Phillip Simmons' Noah Ward (S.C. No. 3) and Chapin's Jaden Kingsley.

Gilman led Hilton Head to the team title with a 162-188 decision against Eastside. St. Joseph's (203) finished third, while Lexington (231) was fourth and T.L. Hanna (236) placed fifth.

Greer Middle College's
Morgan Summey earned medalist in the Girls Championship race with a time of 19:42.83. Landrum took the team title with a 158-160 victory against Irmo. 

"It's a little hot, but we did it," Summey said. "It's over. I've been training with some boys on my team. They don't like it, but it's going good... Honestly this season has been going really good. I've been really pushing myself, really getting focused and not goofing off like last year."