FORT MILL --
In their annual head-to-head cross-country race on the Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill ran its way to a clean sweep of rival Nation Ford in a rain-filled race.
As Hurricane Isaac was hitting the Gulf Coast Wednesday, Fort Mill was seeing a nice dumping of rain itself – but that wasn’t enough to stop the two teams.
The girls’ race led off as Fort Mill won 22-38 with the Lady Jackets taking three of the top five spots.
Senior Emily Lyons led all runners after winning t in a time of 22:35. She was followed by Nation Ford’s top runner, senior Leah Thornock, who finished second at 22:53.
Fort Mill sophomore Melissa Smith finished third just four seconds behind at 22:57 and eighth-grader Ania Rzepka finished fourth at 23:26.
Nation Ford junior Polly Goss rounded out the top five, coming across in 23:46.
The rain was absent for the majority of the girls’ race, but it really started to pour before the boys’ race began and the guys had a steady downpour to contend with.
Fort Mill won the boys’ race 17-40, sweeping the top four places. The Jackets could have swept their rivals with a perfect score of 15 had a couple of newcomers to the team didn’t veer off on a different direction. Going off-course and then finding their way back on ate into their times.
“I am really happy with the start that we had,” said Fort Mill head coach Marc Pyrc.
“Conditions were pretty terrible, but the team ran well. Emily looked strong and should have a good senior season. The front group of guys worked really well together. There was a bit of a mix-up with the course and a few guys ran a little extra distance, but I am happy with the results. We look deeper on the guys’ side than we have been in a long time. It was a good start and we are all pretty excited about the rest of the season.”
Junior Grant Hendrickson won the boys’ race, finishing at 17:33. Two seconds later, junior newcomer to Fort Mill Cameron Ruppe finished second.
Fort Mill sophomore Jeremy Ricks was right behind Ruppe finishing third at 17:36 and Lucas Powell came across fourth with the same time.
Nation Ford sophomore Will Manning was the top finisher for the Falcons, coming in fifth at 18:50.