Hammond’s girls cross country team received a wake-up call early last week in loss to St. Joseph’s of Greenville at a four-team SCISA meet hosted by Ben Lippen. The Skyhawks, who have won fourth straight Class 3A independent school championships and nine of the last 11 handed out, rebounded with an impressive performance at the Coaches Classic Invitational on Saturday at Sandhills Research Park.
Hammond, which returns five varsity veterans this season for another title run, put together a fourth-place finish in the Championship Division. One could make a case for the Skyhawks having the best overall performance by any Midlands team other than Dutch Fork. Notably, the Skyhawks finished two spots ahead of defending public-school 2A state champion Bishop England.
St. Joseph’s did not run at the Coaches Classic.
Senior Mason Castles and eighth-grader Catherine Herring led the way for the Skyhawks on the big stage, finishing 23rd and 25th, respectively. Castles clocked in at 21 minutes, 26 seconds, just six seconds ahead of Herring.
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Sophomore Sarah Dobbs (36th, 21:56), senior Margaret Deans Fawcett (57th, 22:34) and junior Lindsey Shealy (80th, 23:03) rounded out the Hammond scoring pack.