Top-ranked, two-time defending champion Lexington added yet another honor to its ever-increasing cache of cross country prizes on Saturday, winning the International Division championship at the SCTCCCA Coaches Classic meet at Clemson Research Park.
“It’s a meet we’ve never won before,” said Wildcats coach Bailey Harris earlier in the week. “Yeah, it’s early in the season and it really won’t mean much in the big picture of the season, but it would be nice to finally win it.”
The Wildcats had no real competition, scoring 53 points and winning by a whopping 95-point margin over runner-up Stratford. The only real negative was the fact that senior leader Colby Coulter finished fourth individually.
Coulter led the Wildcats pack with a time of 15 minutes, 52 seconds, and had Top 10 backing from sophomores Tony Morales (6th, 15:56) and Zack Langston (8th, 16:08) and junior Blake White (9th, 16:12).
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The other Midlands highlight in the blue-chip division was an individual title run by defending Class 4A state champion Roland Hakes of Dutch Fork. Hakes and his Silver Foxes teammates managed a fourth-place finish.
Blythewood stole the local show in the Championship Division, finishing in second place behind Bishop England. Freshman Jerald Glover had an impressive big-meet debut, placing fourth with a time of 16:58. Senior William Epps provided solid backing with a 12th-place finish in 17:15.
The other area highlights were provided by Top 10 individuals – Ridge View’s Mike Lantz (5th, 15:53) and Chapin’s Heath Lorick (7th, 16:08) in the International Division; Irmo’s Andrew Jordan (5th, 17:00) and Dreher’s Nick Putnam (8th, 17:02) in the Championship Division.
Lexington, Heathwood Hall and Dutch Fork were the big area stories on the girls side.
Lexington came into the meet ranked fifth in Class 4A, and the Wildcats finished fifth ikn the International Division behind Meri Heneage (13th, 19:55) and Katelin Killman (18th, 20:09).
Heathwood Hall beat out Dutch Fork for the Championship Division title, 134-169.
Brooke Grice and Sydney Ellen set the pace for the winning Highlanders with Top 10 individual finishes. Grice placed fourth in 19:22, while Ellen fdinished seventh in 20:00.
Hope Wiseman (8th, 20:02) and Amelia Syfert (11th, 20:08) led the way for Dutch Fork.