Racing on a course over which the Region 4-AAA cross country championships will be held Oct. 22, the Camden High cross country teams continued their string of strong finishes in a multi-team meet hosted by Chapin High School last Wednesday.
Pam Chickering’s Lady Bulldogs finished fourth of eight teams in the girls’ portion of the run while Jerry Stokes’ Bulldogs finished fifth out of nine entries.
Host Chapin won the girls’ race with 23 points followed by, in order, Pelion (43), Ninety Six (76), Camden (104) Gilbert (121), Mid-Carolina (175), Richland Northeast (205) and Brookland-Cayce with 208 points.
The top finisher for the Lady Bulldogs was freshman Stephanie Areford, who was eighth in a time of 21:33. Fellow CHS freshman Heather Woolard was 13th with a final clocking of 22:14 with classmate Megan Goodrich coming home in 22nd place in a time of 23:16.
Camden’s Abby McLaughlin finished in 29th spot with a time of 24:13 while Caroline Woolard rounded out the scoring with a time of 24:27 which was good for 32nd.
Pelion won the boys’ race as the Panthers held off Chapin, 33-42. Gilbert was third with 95 points trailed by Ninety Six (126), Camden (137), Brookland-Cayce (160), Mid-Carolina (178), Richland Northeast (180) and Lower Richland (289).
Freshman Garrett Lawson paced the Bulldogs as his time of 18:17 was good for 18th place. Senior Parker Robinson, Daniel Gambrell and freshman K.P. Cassidy followed each other home in the 26th through 28th places, being timed in 19:01, 19:02 and 19:09, respectively. Ben Battiata, a seventh-grader, ran a 19:38, which was good for 38th place to round out the CHS scoring.
The meet, which came in what is the midway point of the season, was one which both Camden teams can build off of as they move forward and into the region and AAA Lower State qualifiers.
“All the kids ran hard and are starting to shave time when needed,” Chickering said of the effort of both CHS squads. “We are hoping to keep pushing to shave more in prep for lower state. That is when we need to peak and run our best to advance to state.
“Both Jerry (Stokes) and I feel we have a good chance this year for both teams to qualify as we have three more weeks until lower state. Again, competition in our region is stiff and runners have put up terrific times, so the hope is we perform very strong at region in preparation for lower state.”