Recap: Fast Weekend for South Carolina Runners

It seemed there were as many cross country meets as football games over the weekend.

Eight different meets were held across the Carolinas and Georgia with several in-state runners and teams shining at the end.

Greer junior Coen Roberts (S.C. no. 1) impressed once again by claiming individual medalist in the Boys Championship race with a staggering time of 15:22.36  on Saturday at the Hare and Hounds Invitational at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C. He downed North Hill's Devan McCraw, who finished with a time of 15:25.05. Roberts broke his personal record by 10 seconds with the win.

"I wasn't expecting to win," he said. "It's always good, especially to PR. I knew it was going to be stacked and a big pack for at least two miles, so I was planning on staying back and drafting on the pack and finishing hard. There was four guys up until a half a mile to go, so I was confident that I'd have the kick to win."

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Roberts said that another personal record is obtainable before season's end.

"I'm very excited,' he said. "I'm hoping for nationals this year, so I just need maybe sub 15 would be good by the end of the year."

Nation Ford's Katie Pou (S.C. No. 5) won individual medalist in the Girls Invitational finishing at 18:43.39. West Forsyth's Eliza Broce (19:18.28) was runner-up. Greer Middle College's Morgan Summey (19:29.85) placed fourth, while Greer's Taylor Houston (19:46.70) was sixth. 

Lexington's Ava Grace Fowler won the varsity girls race with a time of 18:38.31 at the Lake Murray Invitational. Heathwood Hall's Jais Ward placed at a close second finishing at 18:38.41. Dutch Fork took the team championship with a 77-89 win against Irmo. Hilton Head (90), Lexington (150) and Heathwood Hall (158) placed third through fifth. 

Fowler said that it felt great to get a personal record and a win. "The temperature was perfect," she said. "The hills really weren't that bad. They were nothing compared to Sandhills... (The competition was) fierce. They pushed me really hard. I got a PR, and I just thank them for that."

Ward said that she gave her best effort to attempt to win."At first I decided that I really wanted to get out, and I wanted to be strong," she said. "So around the first mile is when I had two girls on me, and I was running side by side with another girl. I just wanted to stay with them the whole time. At the last mile, I wanted to pick it up. But as soon as I was on the field of the grass, I wanted to kick it and go as fast as I could."

Chapin's Jaden Kingsley won the varsity boys race at 15:50.54. Blythewood's Alan Deogracias was runner-up at 16:00.43. Kingsley said that he was comfortable with the course.

"I felt really good," he said. "Going in yesterday, I ran the course one more time getting every turn down. I felt good. I felt like I ate well, hydrated well, and I was really happy with where I was before the race."

Lexington downed Hilton Head 67-79 to win the team title. The Seahawks' Sam Gilman was on a college visit and did not compete at the meet. T.L. Hanna (97) was third, followed by Wando (123) and Ashley Ridge (218). 

Watch Mike Moore Lake Murray Invitational Races

Recap continues on page 2.