Making themselves right at home in Camden, the A.C. Flora cross country teams left Saturday’s second annual Battle of Camden cross country meet at Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site by sweeping to victory in both the boys’ and girls’ competitions.
In the boys’ portion of the 14-team meet, A.C. Flora junior Michael Davis (17:28.47) beat his teammate and classmate Colin Sauls to the finish line by 12 seconds as the Falcons finished 1-2 in the race while placing four runners in the top six and five in the top eight finishers to post an event-low 22 points.
North Central senior Cameron Hoffman was third behind the Flora duo as he finished in a clocking of 18:11.43.
Following A.C. Flora in the one-sided battle for the championship was Fairfield Central with 64 points. Lugoff-Elgin was third with 125 points. Event host Camden came home in 10th with 237 while North Central was 12th with 266 points.
L-E had two runners among the top 18 finishers. Senior Evan Stewart’s time of 19:09.97 for the 5k run was good for 15th place while classmate Dylan Whitehouse ran a 19:20.09, which put him 18th in the field of 100 runners. The Demons received a 30th place finish from junior Tristan Dela Torre (20:30.99).
Camden’s top finisher was senior Dru Montgomery whose time of 21:2.14 was good for 41st. CHS senior Grant Maree (21:46.26) and eighth-grader James Reames (22:03.16) checked in at 46th and 51st place, respectively.
Following Hoffman’s strong finish, the next best time for the Knights was turned in by Daniel Morgan, who came in 48th place in a time of 22:00.63. Joshua Vazquez was the third quickest finisher for NC by running a 23:01.97.
The A.C. Flora boys’ victory came on the heels of the Lady Falcons’ edging Oceanside Collegiate Academy, 50-51, for the victory.
Camden was fifth with 115 points followed by L-E in sixth with 152.
Westwood seventh-grader Emma Ashley was the winning individual runner as she stopped the clock in 22:16.67, nearly three seconds ahead of A.C. Flora’s Emma Britt, who ran a 22:19.56.
Camden had an 18th place finish from eighth-grader Greer Younghans with a time of 24:36.30. The second quickest finisher for the Lady Bulldogs was junior Devynn Mortensen at 25:02.05 which was good for 23rd place. Mell Boucher, a junior, was 29th in a time of 25:45.99.
Leading the way for the Lady Demons was junior Olivia Robertson whose time of 23:07.89 was good for seventh place. Following her to the finish line were teammates Jasmine Glover, a sophomore whose 25:40.43 put her in 29th place, and eighth-grader Eva Hoagland, whose time of 26:07.95 put her in 34th place.
Top runners headed for Camden: Saturday’s season-opening Battle of Camden meet was the first of what will be a big season of cross country racing in Camden.
With Clemson’s Sandhills Research facility in the middle of a project which will not allow the site to host major cross country races, the Springdale Race Course in Camden has been selected to host the state’s premier races this fall.
On Saturday, October 12, the home of the Carolina Cup Steeplechase Races will host the Bob Jenkins SCCCCA Coaches Classic, which will draw some of the top running programs from throughout the Palmetto State.
On Saturday, November 9, Springdale is scheduled to host mid-state qualifiers for the state championships.
The following Saturday, Nov. 16, the South Carolina High School League will crown champions in all five of its classifications as Springdale hosts the state meets in a full day of running at the facility located on Knights Hill Road in Camden.