MOULTRIE -  Katie Russell ran 21:19 to lead the Colquitt County High girls cross country team to a fifth-place finish in a 13-team meet held Saturday in Leesburg.

The Packers placed third in the boys meet

The Colquitt County middle school teams also ran in Leesburg on Saturday.

Coach Mell Wier said Russell’s time might be the fastest posted by a Colquitt County girl since Amy Paine was a Lady Packer.

“She ran a great race,” Wier said of Russell. “She runs so hard and put everything she’s got into it.

“She is really, really tough.”

Russell’s time place her fourth. Searra Johnson was 24th; Heather Globerman was 30th; Kayla Webbe, 47th; and Kristina Scott was 60th.

Thomasville won the meet. Tift County was second, Houston County came in third and Lee County was fourth.

Richard Smith led the Colquitt County boys with an 11th-place finish. Steven Johnson was was 14th and Jonathan Florencio was 15th.

“We were in a good, tight pack there,” Wier said.

Alberto Duque was 29th. He was followed by Alex Gomez, who was 32nd; Raymond Jenkins, who was 66th; Landon Rehberg, in his first competition since coming back from an injury, was 93rd; and Charlie Florencio was 98th.

Tift County was first in the boys race and was followed by Valdosta and Colquitt County.

The Colquitt County teams will not run this weekend as Wier encourages his runners to compete in Saturday’s Race of the South sponsored by the Moultrie YMCA.

The Packers and Lady Packers will run next on Thursday, Sept. 22 in the Monroe Invitational in Albany.

The Colquitt County middle school girls cross country team placed second in Lee County on Saturday.

The girls finished with a score of 77, behind only Tift County, which had a 41.

Lauren Coop was Colquitt County’s top finisher, placing eighth.

Also for the Lady Packers, Yasmin Moctezuma was ninth; Tiffany Smith, 17th; Ashlyn Norris, 20th;

Elizabeth Funderburk, 23rd; Adrianna Lamb 25th; and Bella Underwood 29th.

There were 90 girls in the race with 13 teams represented.

The Colquitt County boys finished fourth with a score of 113.

Three Packers finished in the top 30, with Jake Merritt eighth, Luke Brinson ninth and Morgan Hart 14th.

The boys race also had 13 teams, represented by 110 runners.

“Overall, it was a very good start for both the girls and boys,” said coach Link Whittaker. “Eleven members of the team had never run a 2-mile race.

“It was a great race for Jake Merritt, a sixth-grader, finishing as the first Colquitt runner. Also, Elizabeth Funderburk and Bella Underwood had very good starts as sixth-graders.”

Whittaker said Leena Viruet, another sixth-grader, placed 33rd.

The middle school team’s next race will be the Thomasville Invitational at Pebble Hill Plantation in two weeks.

“There will be around 20 or so teams in the middle school race so the competition will get even better,” Whittaker said. “Hopefully, our kids now know what they have to do to get to the next level and I'll be looking for that in practice this week.”