Putnam County runners recently competed in a hot one.
The War Eagles and Lady Eagles took part in the Stratford XC Invitational on Wednesday, Aug. 29, hosted by Stratford Academy in Macon. Both varsity squads performed well as the boys placed third out of 16 teams while the girls finished seventh out of 16.
The Putnam runners had to battle a warm afternoon as they pushed to finish the race.
“This was a very challenging course,” Putnam cross-country coach Andrew Grodecki said. “The temperature at race times were awfully hot. It was not a great day for personal bests.”
Despite rough conditions, the War Eagles were able to perform well and lift the team to the third place spot. Michael Ramirez-Perez and Drequan Aikens ran personal bests on the day. Ramirez-Perez finished 71st with a time of 23:47.93 and Aikens stepped up as the team’s No. 5 runner, finishing 32nd with a 21:42.70 time.
“It was a great team effort,” Grodecki said about the Eagles’ performance. “[Aikens] really stepped it up for us. I’m very pleased with his efforts in practice and at the meet this week.”
Jacob Little led the Eagles with an 11th place finish at 20:24.52, followed by Cole Griffin right behind him in 12th at 20:32.77. Dylan Lindsey finished 19th with a 20:48.96 time and Jaden Grimes finished 25th at 21:25.95.
The Lady Eagle runners were missing Destiny Beltman due to a prior obligation but were still able to perform well at the meet. Shelby Herring was the leading Lady Eagle and finished 24th with a time of 27:16.26, followed by Lily McWhorter in 27th at 27:40.80.
Rebecca Hildreth finished 46th at 30:01.86, Lily Thomas finished 86th with a 39:11.81 time and Keiara Crawford came in 92nd with a 42:20.83 finish.
“The girls are getting stronger, but the one thing we will have to work on is shortening the gap between our No. 1 runner and No. 5 runner,” Grodecki said.
James Mead and Michael Little earned third and seventh place respectively in the junior varsity race. Little, Terrell Williams, Rodney Daniel and Calik Dennis all earned personal best times during the meet.
The Putnam County runners were back in action on Wednesday for the Morgan County Rick Boulis Invitational. Their next meet will take place on Sept. 15 at Gray Station Middle School for the Release the Hounds Invitational.