As the postseason nears in the sport of cross country, several Columbia County teams came together once again for the annual Columbia County Invitational at Greenbrier High School on Oct. 21.
Eleven schools and 125 runners took part in the boys and girls varsity races that spanned five kilometers across the Greenbrier campus. With cool and sunny weather aiding the runners, several personal records were shattered.
Bobby Armenta, a senior at Hephzibah High School, barely edged out Greenbrier's Josh Sapp for first place in the boys varsity race. With a time of 16:15, Armenta and Sapp said they both beat their best times by 37 seconds.
While the cool weather did help, Armenta said it was the extreme competition that set the fast pace and allowed for a record-setting time.
"It irks me when someone runs next to me, so I just want to beat them," Armenta said. "When it's like that I kind of run better."
The girls varsity race was less dramatic as Greenbrier's Chelsea Maxwell toasted the competition with a time of 19:33 - a full 44 seconds faster than any other girl. While the girls race wasn't as close as the boys varsity race, several personal records were also rewritten.
Maxwell beat her personal best time by two seconds. Evans sophomore Elena Hubbard took second place with a time of 20:17 and beat her best by one second.
Greenbrier cross country coach Katie Smallwood said the records are expected at this time of year.
"I think it's a function of a couple of things," she said. "First you always run better in cold weather. Also, this is the point in the season where all the hard work should be paying off."
The home team took first place in the Columbia County Invitational. The Wolfpack boys won by 28 points while the Lady Wolfpack earned a 22-point win. While the meet gave Greenbrier bragging rights, a more important race is still to come.
Greenbrier, Lakeside and Evans will all compete in the Region 3-AAAA meet on Saturday at Greenbrier High School.
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