XC Jags scorch through hot race at North Oconee

Last Thursday, the Cedar cross country team didn’t let the parching weather wear them down, as the Jaguars varsity boys team exceeded expectations.

Competing at the Oconee Community Cross Country Course located at North Oconee High School, the boys placed 5th out of 14 teams in their second meet of the season.

“It was a challenging course, but we stuck around and encouraged each other the whole race,” said junior Pace Barkdoll, who clocked a 20:42 and finished 4th on the team. 

The top five runners all finished between 45 seconds of each other and placed in the top 45 out of 126 runners with junior Josh Williams leading the pack at 20:03. 

“I ran worse than I did the first meet [18:50],” Williams said. “Overall, our team improved. It was over 90 degrees when we ran, so just because our times didn’t improve doesn’t mean we didn’t improve.” 

Compared to the last finish of 17th out of 24 teams, there was a definite team improvement in their performance.

“We’re just looking to build on these races to prepare ourselves for the region race in late October,” Barkdoll said. 

Senior Weenta James placed 7th out of 95 runners in the girls JV race, running a 24:54

“My time and placing was almost the same as the first race [ran a 24:16 and finished 6th], but under worse conditions,” James said. 

The team believes the heat and hills of North Oconee’s trail will better them in the long run. 

“Any time you compete in adverse conditions it always provides a chance to grow, and we will be able to use this experience to our benefit in future meets,” said head coach Justin Rebitch.