Batesburg-Leesville’s youthful cross country teams augured a brighter future on the harrier scene with solid showings in 2008. Both B –L teams returned to 2A state finals this fall after missing the cut a year ago.
Moreover, the Panthers boys turned in their best-ever state meet performance. B-L finished with 324 points, just four points behind Pelion and Palmetto (who shared 11th place) and just six behind 10th place Ashley Ridge. A run at earning the first Top 10 state boys finish in history is a real possibility next season.
The big individual story was the all-state performance by junior Kurt Bostelaar, who placed 12th with a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds. Bostelaar had nice scoring support from junior James Coleman (51st, 18:45), senior James Peterson (79th, 19:26), sophomore Foulks Ramon (95th, 20:00) and eighth-grader Brandon James (100th, 20:09).
The Panthers girls finished 14th in their return to state with a team score of 429 points.
Middle-school age runners dominated the scoring lineup. Eighth-grader Alkeiver Cannon (31st, 22:00) led the way, followed by seventh-grader Cambey Reep (72nd, 23:22), eighth-grader Kaliyah Andrews (76th, 23:38), seventh-grader Katie Counts (116th, 25:37) and senior Blair Kirkland (162nd, 30:42).