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Doster inks with Mercer

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    Flanked by friends, family and coaches, Laney Doster signs the dotted line to continue her running career at Mercer University. BRAD HARRISON/Staff

One of the most accomplished cross country runners in the history of Jones County High School, Laney Doster will continue running close to home. The senior signed a national letter of intent last Wednesday, in front of family and close friends at the JCHS Auditorium, to continue her career at Mercer University.

“This is crazy, this is unreal,” Doster said. “I always knew I wanted to run in college, but I never imagined it would be somewhere like Mercer, a Division I school with such great academics.”

Doster’s putting the pen to paper came just a few days after posting a fifth-place finish in the GHSA Class AAAAA state meet. Doster ends her high school career with one region title, two region runner-up finishes and three top-ten state meet finishes.

“She’s a program changer. She’s just a character, high moral kid, strong in academics. She is one that all the younger kids look up to,” Jones County head cross country coach Geoff Moore said. “I’m excited she’ll be close to home so that we can go see her and she can come back and see us.”

Among those on hand for the signing were some of Doster’s teammates, some of which are underclassmen. The impact of younger runners seeing one of their own sign on for the next level is not lost on Moore.

“They see what is attainable with hard work and good grades and when you put your mind to something,” Moore said.