Banks County’s cross-country team marked its return to the Runners Fit Mountain Invitational at Unicoi State Park last Thursday as the Leopard boys took eighth and the girls placed 16.
“We were happy to get to return back to the Unicoi Course,” said coach Kelly McDuffie.
Leading the way for Banks County was Ivan Diaz (18:12) and Trey Martin (18:14). Diaz placed 24th overall and Martin placed 25th. For the girls, Maggie McCoy set a personal best of 23:06 and placed 24th overall in the girls’ race.
Other personal bests set on Thursday included Francisco Hurtado (19:11), Rachel Guthrie (31:00), and Marissa Lewis (30:35).
Finishing order for the boys was Diaz, Martin, Hurtado, Jacob Schaeffer, Tuan Pham, Viet Pham, Dylan Bonella and Mason Patton.
For the girls, the finishing order was McCoy, Kara Murphy, Bridget Marlow, Janet Preza, Guthrie, Jayda Richey and Lewis.
Additional personal bests included Gabriel Espenoza, Javier Padron, Michael Wheeler, Haley Jeong, and Kassie Martin. These runners set personal bests competing in the JV division.
On Tuesday, some of the Banks County runners competed at Jefferson in the eighth annual MainStreet News meet.
Due to fall break this week, Banks County only sent the top boys and top girl to compete.
“This gave them a chance to run on the course for region,” McDuffie said. “Then share with there teammates what the course will be like.”
Diaz finished in the top 10, receiving a medal for his eight place finish. Martin and Hurtado followed Diaz for an overall seventh place team finish.
McCoy ran for the Leopards’ girls and placed 30th in the meet. Since she was the only girl for Banks County, team points were not awarded.
Coming up for the Banks County runners is the rescheduled home meet on Thursday. The meet was postponed from Sept. 30 due to weather. Following this Thursday’s home meet, the Leopards host another meet on Monday.
Both meets are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the respective day.