The Long County Blue Tide Cross Country team has had an exciting couple of years and it certainly seems like they have more to come in the future. The team recently wrapped up its 2018 season after the girls team competed in the state meet this past weekend in Carrollton.
The teams, led by first-year head coach David White, had a successful year following the 2017 season where the boys advanced to the state meet for the first time in history. It was the girls’ turn in 2018 as they did the same, finishing third overall at the region meet in Jeff Davis two weeks ago and advancing to the state meet.
“The Long County High School Girls Cross Country team qualified and participated in the Georgia High School State Cross Country Championship for the first time in school history on Saturday, Nov. 3,” according to White. “The championships were held at Carrolton High School, which is west of Atlanta, and the girls had to conquer many large hills during the run, one of which was called ‘The Separator.’”
In 2017, the cross country team brought back a trophy to Ludowici as then-senior Cameron Taylor, who now runs cross country for University of South Carolina-Beaufort, won the individual region 2-AAA championship for the boys. Freshman runner Kikio Awuku did the same for the girls’ team in 2018 as she finished first at the region meet in Jeff Davis.
“In order to qualify for state, teams must finish in the top four of their region,” White explained. “It took a complete team effort to do this and all six runners ran their personal best times to help qualify for state. Members of the LCHS State Championship runners are Kikio Awuku, Christina Stone, Casey Strickland, Kimauria Ward, Jalynn Drake, and Nyla Jones.”
White added the team wished to publicly thank Windy Stanford for chaperoning and supporting the team.
While the team did not place in the top 10 at the state competition over the weekend, they have a lot to forward to in 2019. They will only lose two seniors, Cameron Key and Kimauria Ward, and return 13 next season.