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War Eagle runners excel in first meet

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War Eagle runners excel in first meet

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CONTRIBUTED/ARELLA CASH Michael Little heads down the stretch during the GMC Small School Invitational.

Putnam County cross-country is off to a strong start.

The War Eagle runners took part in the Georgia Military College Prep Small School Showcase last Thursday at the GMC Prep practice football field in Milledgeville. The boys team finished third place out of nine teams, only trailing behind host GMC and GHSA Class AA opponent Jeff Davis, while the girls finished fifth place out of seven.

The War Eagles accumulated a total score of 96 points and managed to complete the meet with an average time of 20:29. The Putnam boys were also able to edge out several opponents, including Lake Country neighbor Lake Oconee Academy, which finished right behind Putnam as fourth place with an average time of 20:37, as well as GHSA 8-AA opponent Social Circle, which finished last at the meet.

Putnam sophomore Jacob Little placed eighth overall out of 120 runners on the 5K race with a time of 19:44.66. Dylan Lindsey finished 12th with a 19:59.02 time, Cole Griffin came in 13th at 20:06.64, senior Jaden Grimes came in 22nd with a time of 20:36.76 and junior Drequan Aikens finished 50th at 22:00.24.

For the Lady Eagles, senior Shelby Herring lead the Putnam girls and finished 11th of 64 runners with a time of 26:27.82. Right behind her was junior Destiny Beltman, who finished 12th with a time of 26:33.65.

Other Lady Eagles who scored during the meet included Lily McWhorter, who finished 21st at 27:15.36, Rebecca Hildreth, who completed the race in 30th with a 28:35.58 time, and Lily Thomas, finishing 52nd at 33:56.19.

After having a successful first meet, the Putnam runners will have a chance to continue to grow as a team and find more success in future meets.

“This meet was a great gauge to see where we are at,” Putnam cross-country coach Andrew Grodecki said. “We have a lot of new faces this year, and this meet gave them an idea what cross-country racing is all about. We are getting better and working hard every day, and we’re looking forward to our next meet.”

Last season, the War Eagle runners finished ninth place in the Class AA state meet and will look to improve this season in order to reach that milestone and more in 2018. The Lady Eagles did not qualify for the state meet last season, but they are showing signs of improvement and will continue to work hard in order to reach the postseason.

Putnam County cross-country traveled to Stratford Academy in Macon on Wednesday for its next meet, and will head to Madison for Morgan County’s Rick Boulis Invitational for its first meet in September.