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Cross country primed to host invitational

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So far this season, Jones County has excelled within cross country competition. Now, its runners will get the opportunity to take advantage close to home.

Jones County hosts the Greyhound Invitational this Saturday with about 20 high school and 34 middle school teams expected, some of which are from the Atlanta area.

It’s an opportunity which the Greyhounds are looking forward to.

“They get fired for a home meet. In these meets, unless you’re so much better than everybody else talent-wise, home meets are a huge advantage, Jones County cross country head coach Geoff Moore said.

“You know where the corners and the hills are.”

The first race of the day, the varsity boys race, is currently scheduled for approximately 7:45 a.m. with the girls event and combined JV event set to follow. Admission is $5, and the race will be held near Dames Ferry Elementary School.

At the same time, JCHS sees this week’s event as an opportunity to continue strong showings against top of the line competition to begin the season. On Saturday at the AT&T Starr’s Mill Panther Invitational, Laney Doster was sixth overall on the girls side with a time of 19:26:08, the second best girls time among runners from schools outside the Atlanta area. Mariah Hunter logged a time of 21:52:99 with Sydney Grant posting at 23:16:86.

On the boys side, Kyle Whipple’s 17:16:67 placed within the top 50 overall, as well as the 17:87:85 of Austin Sullivan.

“Both our boys and girls teams are first and second in the region right now,” Moore said. “The approach is not just to show up and do your best, we want to compete for a region championship.”

Local runners also performed strong in last week’s Peake Invitational in Macon. Gray Station Middle School posted two top-ten finishers on the boys side in Gavin Robinson, third with a time of 13:02:46 and Landon Steinmeyer in eighth with 13:38:73. Camryn Wommack was first overall in the girls event with a time of 14:51:22 and Lily Palmer’s time of 15:39:35 gave Gray Station two of the top four finishers.