Irmo’s unranked boys cross country team beat two Class 4A Top 10 teams Saturday at the annual Furman Invitational in Greenville. Irmo and Blythewood were the only Midlands entries at the venerable Upstate meet.
The Yellow Jackets finished in 19th place in the 45-team field, but the big new was the unranked Yellow Jackets were fourth among all South Carolina entries and beat out Class 4A Top 10 teams Mauldin and Spartanburg. Eighth-ranked Mauldin finished 25th, one spot ahead of fifth-ranked Spartanburg.
Junior Andy Roof led the way for Irmo, finishing 37th with a time of 17 minutes, 49 seconds. Freshman Andrew Jordan (87th, 18:19), junior Aaron Sirko (98th, 18:27), junior Jack Lewis (152nd, 18:57) and sophomore Tanner Graham (166th, 19:08) lined up in scoring support behind Roof.
Senior Raheema Hodges placed 21st in the field of 282 runners with a time of 20:57 as the youthful Yellow Jackets finish 18th out of the 18 42 team entries, clocking in at 20 minutes, 57 seconds. Freshman Savannah Radenbaugh (60th, 21:59), freshman Carly Cox (144th, 23:22), eighth-grader Anna Buford (168th, 23:59) and freshman Claire Kennedy (25:37) were Irmo’s other scoring runners.
Roof and Hodges both dropped off a bit from their most recent big-meet performances. Roof ran a personal-best 17:22 at the Sumter Rotary Invitational on Oct. 4. Hodges could not match the impressive performances she had in her two previous outings when she turned in national elite times while placing first at the Lake Murray Invitational (with a PR of 19:39.59) on Sept. 20 and at Sumter with 19:42.
The Blythewood boys team finished 34th, while the young Bengals girls team placed 39th.
Junior Andrew Gordon finished 83rd with a time of 18:18 to pace the boys effort. Senior Xavier Roach (19:29), sophomore Caleb George (20:06), senior Vance Washington (20:30) and sophomore Denton Kirkland (20:43) rounded out the scoring lineup. Kendra Burkett, one of three seventh graders in the six-runner Blythewood girls lineup, led the Bengals pack with a time of 24:26.