On Oct. 6, the Highlander Middle School Cross Country participated in the Georgia Independent School Association State meet at Bulloch Academy and took home some lofty medals. Coached by First Presbyterian Christian Academy athletic director, Shane Smith, the team took the runner up title with 41 points, Westwood Schools taking first with 37 points.
Highlander Caleb Harmon, an 8th grader, took the top spot in the two-mile run, winning the individual gold medal with a time of 12:06:94. This is Harmon’s second year running middle school cross country and he also participates on the varsity squad. Winning races is not his only talent; Harmon is also a standout baseball player on the FPCA baseball teams.
Eighth grader Timothy Christensen came in third place in the meet. His time was 12:17.04, finishing behind the second place runner by only six seconds, and behind Harmon by 10.
Sixth grader Cade Creasy finished 12th (13:20.62), 8th grader Logan Dore finished 15th (14:02.04), 8th grader Cameron Eason placed 17th (14:56.17), 6th grader Jade Varnedoe Cooke placed 23rd (18:20.24) and 6th grader Matai Canada finished 30th (26:07.36).
Although the Highlanders did not have enough girls for an entire team, two Lady Landers participated for individual times. Sixth grader Makaylee Jones came in 8th place with a time of 15:15.76. Sixth grader Joanna Kinsey finished right behind Jones with a time of 15:24.92.
Smith had high praise for his team.
“I want to thank the kids for their hard work and dedication. We have come a very long way and it shows. It seemed like we hit our stride mid-season and in the last couple of weeks we have really shined. We had a fabulous state meet, and I am proud of how hard they worked.”
With the middle school season wrapped up, Smith was focused on the varsity region and state meets. The varsity region meet was Monday, at Bulloch Academy in Statesboro. The state meet will be held Oct. 27 in Americus hosted by Southland Academy.