Local cross country teams, runners shine in Quail Trail run in Thomasville


THOMASVILLE - On Saturday schools from South Georgia descended on Thomasville for the 2012 Quail Trail Cross Country meet. Held at the historic and scenic Pebble Hill Plantation, the meet offers an open 5k, a 5k for high school teams, and a 3k event for middle school teams. Local runners showed that Titletown knows more than just football.

The opening event was an all comers cross country 5k. This 3.1 mile, mixed terrain, race featured many runners from the Thomasville and Tallahassee areas.

The event was won by Ryan Kelly, a cross country coach from Valdosta Middle. While official times were unavailable, Kelly was pleased with both his effort and the turn out at the event.

After the open 5k, the school events began. At the high school level, cross country meets are generally held over a 5k/3.1 mile course. Scoring is based off of overall finishing position. a team's top five runners' finishing positions are added together to determine a team's score. The team with the lowest score wins.

The high school girls 5k was won by Lowndes High's Alison Peters with a time of 20:25. Peters led the Vikettes, seventh in the state, to another overall win, outscoring the second place team of Thomasville by 28 points. The Vikettes’ best runner, Megan Charbeneau did not compete with the team due to a college visit. In the same event the Valdosta High Lady Wildcats finished sixth out of a field of 17 teams.

Maclay High School won the 19 team boys 5k, edging out Lowndes High by 14 points. Valdosta High finished 10th in the event.

In the boys' middle school 3k race, Valdosta Middle used a strong second place finish by Mariano Arceo to help record their second win of the season. Jonathan Noll, Thomas Eager, Davis Baldwin, and Coleman Bondurant rounded out the Tomcats top 5 runners and earned the victory in the thirteen team field. The Viking Running Club, based at Pine Grove Middle, entered runners as well. Daniel Swilley was the club's top finisher with an overall finish of 5th place.

In the girls' middle school race VMS placed eighth out of fifteen teams. Sixth grader Madeline Posse paced the Cats with an overall 13th place finish. Madeline was followed by Keayanne Harmon, Sarah Wehling, Maya Flucas, Kaniya Alexander, Molly Mizell, Raquel Goddard, Cloey Mulgrew, and Emily Grace Thornton. In the same event, the Viking Running Club placed 5 th.

While the area public schools competed in Thomasville, Valwood and St. John School traveled to Americus for the Southland Academy Invitational.

Mary Alice Smoot, the lone Valwood runner, won the girls’ high school race. Smoot recorded an official time of 21:27 over the 5k course.

The state-ranked Valwood guys were led by Craig Smoot to a seventh place team finish.

The middle school teams competed at a distance of 2500 yards. St. John School made strong showings in both the girls and boys races.

The girls’ team placed seventh while the boys’ team finished fifth in their race. Matthew Baun continued his dominance of middle school events by winning the competition with a time of 9:32.