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The Pike County High School boys cross country team made school history by placing third in the state. Pictured are (l-r) Jack Bell, John Barber, Xander Potter, Coach Ken Smith, Luke Woerner, Andrew Edwards, Jack Barron, and Christian Fowler.

Cross country team makes school history, places third in the state

The Pike County High School boys and girls cross country teams both competed in the state meet over the weekend. 
The boys team had earned first place in the region and the girls team earned second place in the region the previous week. Both teams have earned top spots in region and competed at the state level for many consecutive years.  
The girls team was led by senior Cathryrn Stuart, senior Savannah McBrayer, sophomore Jocelyn Coker, junior Bailey Morris, sophomore Morgan Boynton and senior Emily Colwell.
The boys went into the state ranked third or fourth and were locked in a tight race with teams to the north. Pickens County was closest, along with Bremen, Lumpkin, Dawson and Columbus. 
“We had beaten and lost to some of these teams all during the season. The Pike County boys team ‘showed up’ on this year at state. The team on Saturday was led by senior Luke Woerner who ran a personal best on the course and finished 14th. Next was running partner and the fastest guy on team Xander Potter. Xander is the first guy in eight or nine years to go sub 17:00 this year. He got out a little fast during the state meet but showed unbelievable grit, heart and intestinal fortitude to gather himself for a fine race and finished 24th. Andrew Edwards ran third with course PR and jumped 14 places in his seeding. Senior John Barber ran his normal solid race and held his seed. Rounding out the scorers was Christian Fowler running on the heals of Barber with a course PR and jumped places in his seed. Running sixth was Jack Bell and Jack seventh Jack Barron who both ran course personal records,” said Clay Woerner. “This third in the state finish truly embodies what team is all about. They suffered as a team, worked as a team, laughed as a team and they needed every team member to play a role on Saturday for the team. Some of these boys were running up to 60 miles a week in August, they backed down to 50 in September. They met and ran on Sundays. They ran in the rain, hot, at night. The cumulative GPA on this team in close to a 4.0; they do most things right. They deserve any recognition you can give them; they truly earned the third place finish in the state! Congratulations to coach Ken Smith and coach Justin Osteen for a job well done. This is the highest placement in cross country in school history.”

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