It was a successful start last Thursday for the Banks County High School cross-country team.
“We are expecting a great year. Many of the rookies from last year are stepping it up and all new runners are stepping it up,” coach Kelly McDuffie said.
The season opener at home debuted the new configuration for the Banks County course which has been regarded as one of the toughest courses in the area.
The new course, while still challenge provides the runners a better experience with several of the runners from competing schools commenting that they liked the new configuration over the one used last season.
Banks County boys took top honors with 19 points followed by Johnson (55), East Hall (82), Jackson County (109) and Stephens County (115).
Setting the boys record for the new course was Banks County’s own Ivan Diaz leading the pack at 18:59. Finishing behind Diaz was Trey Martin (second, 19:44) and Francisco Hurtado (third, 20:12).
Overall the Leopards’ boys team took first place in the season opening run. Jacob Schaeffer and Tuan Pham also finished the course inside of 21 minutes.
For the girls, Jackson County led with 22 points followed by Stephens County (61), Banks (78), Johnson (80) and East Hall did not score.
The girl’s team, led by Maggie McCoy (third, 25:07) came in third overall with Kara Murphy (28:14) and Jayda Richey (30:51) leading the way for the Lady Leopards. Bridget Marlow and Janet Preza also finished the course within minuts of their teammates.
Coming up for the cross-country team is another home meet on Tuesday, Sept. 14.