The Centennial High School cross country team kicked off their season early on Saturday morning as they traveled to Fairburn, GA for the Mercy Invitational. The varsity girls race was the first of three for the morning and the team demonstrated what a summer of training and logging miles can do to help build a base for a strong season. Even though the team ran the minimum of five runners to record a team score, they were able to take home first place with a combined score of 55. Isabelle Du Plessis led the way with a third-place finish and fast time of 20:37 on the 5k course. She was followed by Gracie Truax who also finished in the top ten at seventh place and freshman Lily Williams in 12th place. Lenin Mariche and Sarah Buchanan followed closely behind and put all five varsity runners in the top twenty.
The varsity boys race followed as they were paced by sophomore, Barrett McAree who came in 12th place with a time of 18:26. After McAree, the Centennial varsity boys ran with a pack mentality as the next four runners all finished within a minute of one another. Josh Styer finished second on the team followed by Jay Ead, Eric Baham, and Chris Gresham. In the JV race, the boys and girls were combined and Centennial finished in fourth place. Josiah Zuno was the first runner to cross the finish for the Knights in ninth place and Dani Hodges was the first female to finish for Centennial in a time of 22:45.
The team competes again this upcoming weekend at the Lambert River Run in Suwannee so come out and support the cross country team as they run against another competitive field. For more information on the team schedule, visit the Centennial Knights cross country team page.