The Bulldogs’ varsity cross country team finished fifth overall in a tough field at the 17th annual Darlington Cross Country Festival last weekend, while the Lady Bulldogs featured some personal best performances.
Cedartown’s junior varsity boys finished second overall as well at the event, which was held Saturday, Sept. 26, on the campus of Darlington School in Rome.
The varsity Bulldog runners finished fifth overall out of 20 teams, just three points out of fourth where Darlington finished with 218 points. Sophomore Leo Segura was the pace-setter for Cedartown, coming in 25th overall with a time of 19 minutes, 2 seconds.
He was followed by sophomore Britt Baxter (41st, 19:35.5) and senior Will Statham (42nd, 19:35.9). All of the other runners, including senior Braxton Ramos, junior Brandon Ramos, sophomores Dalton Benefield and Logan Walters, and freshmen Uriel Guzman and Miguel Ornelas, finished in under 22 minutes.
Cedartown’s varsity girls’ squad was led by sophomore McKenzie Butler, who ran a personal best of 27:52. Sophomore Bella Owens (29:09) and freshmen Lezlie Bates (28:30) and Lusero Escutia (30:45) also set personal best times on the day.
The junior varsity boys were led by freshman James Knox, who finished sixth overall with a time of 21:00. He was followed by Austin James, who took 16th with a time of 22:14. Freshman Daniel Sun (22:37), and sophomores Hunter Shell (22:43) and Ethan McElwee (22:56) each finished in the top 30.
Junior Young Ramirez, sophomores Bailey Benefield, Hermene Juarez, and Noah Turpin, and freshman Drew McClain also competed well at Darlington.
Also in action on Saturday were the Cedartown Middle School cross country programs. The CMS girls finished 18th in the 3,200-meter run thanks to the efforts of runners like Jamena Escutia (18:07), Katlyn Fields (18:16), Emily Meyers (18:30), Ava Christian (18:31), Kemyra Purnell (20:09) and Aniyah Purnell (20:20).
The middle school boys had two runners who competed hard in Oscar Guzman (13:31) and Luis Juarez (20:58).
Head coach Richard Shortt stated that he was very proud of his team’s efforts on Saturday and is glad to see the progress the teams have made in this short season.
The Cedartown cross country teams are back in action Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Rockmart Invitational held at Prospect Golf Club. Cedartown will host a race on Oct. 13 before they head to the Pickens-N-Grinning 5K on Oct. 17. The Region 7-4A Championships will be held on Oct. 27 in Jasper.