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Cross-Country Competes in the Mike Moore Lake Murray Invitational

Northside’s Cross-Country Team participated in the Mike Moore Lake Murray Invitational Meet on Saturday, September 18th. The meet is one of the largest in South Carolina, and is hosted by Irmo High School, Chapin High School, and Dutch Fork High School.

At 8:30 A.M., Connor VanHoosier toed the line as the Crusader’s lone representative in the Boys Varsity race. VanHoosier competed alongside 273 other individuals. Being Northside’s only representative in the race did not phase VanHoosier who is a junior this year. He finished with a 5K time of 25:30.26, a season best by more than 50 seconds.

At 9:00 A.M., Northside’s Girls Team prepared to run in a very competitive race that featured 227 individuals, and teams from 18 different schools. The team was comprised of Ella Jeffrey, Bayleigh Womack, Kaitlynn Ford, Natalie Walke, and Madison Gause. Jeffrey paced the team, crossing the finish line with a time of 22:11.54 (6th overall), which was about 20 seconds better than her previous season record. The time gave Jeffrey the season record among Crusader runners this season for a brief period of time. Moreover, the time posted by Jeffrey is one of the top ten times to be posted by a female runner is SCISA’s 2A division this season! Teammate, Bayleigh Womack looks to be getting back to full strength after persevering through a tough end to her 2020 season. Womack placed second behind Jeffrey on the team with a time of 22:42.53 (11th overall), which was also a season best by approximately 20 seconds. Kaitlynn Ford continues to improve every race as well. On Saturday, Ford posted a season best time of 22:53.41 (15th overall), continuing to build on her best start of any season out of the five she has participated on the Cross-Country Team. Natalie Walke continued her own strong season on Saturday, finishing with a 5K time of 23:35.56 (28th overall), which was over a minute faster than her season best time to that point. Madison Gause rounded out the Girls Team, continuing to show immense future potential as she finished with a time of 23:41.35 (31st). The Girls placed 5th in the race overall, thanks to strong performances from the entire team. The team finished with a mere 10-point gap separating them from second place, River Bluff! Jeffrey, Womack, and Ford received ribbons for their strong performances at the race.

Teammates Noah Greene and William Cochrane ran in the JV Boys Elite Division at the meet. Greene ran in his first 5K meet since August 28th, when he set a personal record of 22:11.60 at the Palmetto State XC Festival hosted by Columbia International University. Despite the three-week gap between 5K races, Greene paced the pair, continuing his strong second season on the Cross-Country Team. Greene crossed the finish line Saturday with a time of 21:54.20 besting his own personal record for the second time this season. Cochrane continues to post strong and consistent performances of his own. Cochrane has consistently posted impressive times this season. That trend continued Saturday, when Cochrane finished the 5K race in 23:50.12.

Lastly, the JV Boys team took to the start line at 10:15 A.M. to wrap up the meet. Mark Diaz who is in his first season running paced the team with a time of 25:46.58, his second-best performance of the season. Tyler Shick made his return to competitive action after his own three-week gap between 5K races. Shick raced well, finishing with a time of 25:54.85. Trenton Manzi edged out teammate Aiden Cripps to finish third on the team. Manzi finished with a time of 27:03.45, his second best of the season, as he continues to make major strides in his second season running Cross Country. Cripps rounded out the Boys JV team, capping the Crusaders’ busy, but successful day by finishing with a personal record time of 27:05.54. The time was almost a minute better than his previous season best, which was posted last week at the Highlander Invitational hosted by Heathwood Hall.

Congratulations to all of the runners on their individual and team success. Northside’s Cross-Country Team will get a much-needed two-week reprieve from competitive action. The team will return to competitive action on October 2nd, when they will head to Darlington Middle School in Darlington, SC to compete for the first time ever. The Crusaders’ will be competing in the 14th Annual Darlington XC Carnival.

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