GMC Prep cross country

Members of the GMC Prep boys and girls cross country teams wait during their turn at the starting line Thursday. Schools were sent off onto the course five minutes apart in an effort to keep student-athletes from different schools apart from one another.

The GMC Prep middle and high school cross country teams took to their home course Thursday for a very different looking competition. 

To keep competing schools from mixing it up out on the course together, teams were sent off in their own groups, essentially making the race against the clock rather than head-to-head. Times were adjusted post-race to determine the individual and team winners.

It was the GMC Prep varsity girls who had the best day among local schools as they won their 5K event. Junior Jada Warren was once again crowned individual champ with her third win in four tries this season. Her 21:03 time was 10 seconds better than her next closest competition from Lake Oconee Academy. The Running Lady Dogs were helped along by 10th-grader Kamryn Willis (fourth, 25:24) and freshman Maria Knapp (fifth, 25:47) on what was a very humid day for a cross country race. 

John Milledge girls cross country finished second among the four competing teams. Mary Ansley McCue and Olivia Johns led the way for the Lady Trojans at ninth and 10th respectively.

Lake Oconee Academy of nearby Greensboro earned the team boys crown with an overall score of 37. A team’s top five finishes are added together to derive its score, so the lower the number, the better. The host Bulldogs came in second place despite missing one of their top runners in senior Ethan Tolentino who was injured before the race. Colin McCabe paced the GMC boys with his fourth-place finish at 18:40. He was backed up by underclassmen Brian Sherwood, Christian Black and Walker Strom who took eighth through 10th respectively. LOA junior Ty Wood won the varsity boys top honor with an 18:01 to help his team to a 37-point tally. 

The JMA boys finished not far behind GMC Prep in third place led by Hunter Hudson (sixth, 20:11) and Harrison Cart (seventh, 20:26).

Earlier in middle school action, LOA won the boys event while Westminster Christian Academy of Watkinsville won the girls. GMC Prep’s Joe Meier was the highest local finisher in the boys race at second while John Milledge’s Lily Ryan took that title at third on the two-mile course. 

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