The Hammond and Heathwood Hall girls cross country teams are off to good starts this season, competing at high levels at major meets with fields primarily fill be top-flight High School League teams.
At the Coaches Classic Invitation on Sept. 12, Hammond, the defending SCISA 3A runner-up, finished 12th in the 46-team Championship Division race at Sandhills Research Center, while Heathwood Hall placed 17th. The two Midlands private schools bested 10 Class 4A public school teams, including local entries Ridge View, Blythewood and Richland Northeast.
Last week at the Lake Murray Invitational at Crooked Creek Park, the Skyhawks and Highlanders both cracked the Top 10. Hammond placed seventh, Heathwood Hall 10th.
Freshman Catherine Herring and eighth-grader Charlotte Bristow paced the Skyhawks at both meets. Herring was 20th at the Coaches Classics with a time of 21:03, and was 21st at Lake Murray with a 21:43. Bristow was 48th and 29th, respectively at the two large-scale meets.
Junior Sarah Dobbs and senior Shealy Lindsey were Hammond's third and fourth runners at both meets. The last scoring spot at the Coaches Classic was filled by eighth-grader Elliott Darnall, while Gabbie Rhinehart was the fifthl scoring runner at Lake Murray.
The young Highlanders had the same order of finish at both meets. Freshman Brooke Grice led the way followed by seventh-grader Sydney Ellen, eighth-grader Ella Brock, junior Leigh Yarborough and eighth-grader Victoria Grice.
Brooke Grice was 12th at the Coaches Classic (20:32) and eighth at Lake Murray (20:51).