PCHS cross country starts out strong

Ke'Aundre Battle approaches the finish line.

Putnam County’s cross country team has begun its 2017 season with a strong first performance. The War Eagles attended the Morgan County Rick Boulis Invitational at Wood Park in Madison, last Wednesday, Sept. 9, marking their first real meeting of the year due to their Aug. 31 meet at the GMC Small School Showcase being cancelled due to weather. The boys won fourth place out of nine teams while the girls won fourth place out of eight. “I’m very pleased with our first showing of the season,” Putnam County cross country coach Andrew Grodecki said. “We have come a long way since last season.” The War Eagles’ boys team were led to victory by senior Avery Jones, who finished in fifth place overall out of 109 runners on the 5k with a time of 19:04.25. Not far behind Jones were senior Zack Allen in 18th place with a time of 19:47.08, freshman Jacob Little at 31s t place with a time of 20:34.53, and junior Thomas Daniel in 41st place with a time of 21:01.18. The girls team also performed well, with freshman Samantha Wilkins earning 12th place out of 69 runners with a time of 26:14.74. Wilkins was followed closely by Destiny Beltman, who came in at 14th place with a time of 24:58.95. Other lady Eagles who placed were Shelby Herring at 20th place with a time of 26:14.74, Callie Rojas in 41st place with a time of 30:38.13, and Keiara Crawford in 48th place with a time of 32:12.64. According to Grodecki, 11 members of the cross country team achieved a new personal best time during the meet. The boys team completed the meet in fourth place, only trailing behind Loganville Christian Academy, Georgia Military College Prep and Morgan County High School. The girls, who also finished in fourth place, fell behind Loganville, Morgan County and Berkmar High School. The Putnam County cross country team’s next meeting took place in Sandersville as the War Eagles attended the Brentwood XC Invitational Sept. 13, hosted by Brentwood High School. Later in the month, they will travel to Milledgeville for the JMA XC Invitational hosted by John Milledge Academy on Sept. 21. Both of the War Eagles’ teams should be able to continue their success at Brentwood and onward into the rest of their schedule. “We still have a lot of work to do,” Grodecki said. “I’m looking forward to next week at Brentwood School Invitational in Saundersville.”

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