The season opener for the Leopards’ 2009 cross country season was a big success for Banks County.
The Leopard runners opened their season on Tuesday at home, as they hosted six schools, Madison County, Jackson County, Oglethorpe, Washington-Wilkes, Towns County and East Hall.
According to team coach Kelly McDuffie, there was a lot of anticipation about the first meet since preparation for the season began in August.
“The team has been working exceptionally hard,” said McDuffie. “With 16 girls and 29 boys we have a large group to work with but they are the best.”
Banks County’s boys proved to be the best as the Leopards took first place scoring 38 points. Finishing second was East Hall followed by Oglethorpe, Towns, Washington-Wilkes and Jackson County in sixth place.
Leading the boys for Banks County were Ivan Diaz finishing at 19:58 followed by his brother Jorge Diaz at 21:08 and Keiffer Hellmeister who finished ninth.
The Lady Leopards took second place behind Jackson County. Towns finished third followed by East Hall, Oglethorpe, Madison County and Washington-Wilkes.
Vanessa Hurtado led the Lady Leopards’ effort with a 27:36, just ahead of Maggie McCoy’s 27:50 finish and Amy Sims at 28:00.
“Everyone did a great job,” said McDuffie.
Up next for the Leopard runners is a meet at Riverside on Sept. 17. The meet will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Gainesville.