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Lancaster High cross country teams geared for the Class AAAA state meet with a solid effort at the state qualifier last Saturday.
Six of seven LHS varsity boys posted their personal best times at the meet.
“This is what you want to see at the big end-of-season meets,” LHS coach Josh Pauling said.
The Bruins finished 11th out of 17 teams, an improvement over last year.
“Congrats to Wylie Penegar, Drew Burn, Peyton Brumfield, Tra Thomas, Grayson Snipes, Herbert Jones, Jordan Shrum and Cole Bailey on making this possible with hard work and determination all season,” Pauling said.
Penegar qualified for the state championship meet for the fourth straight year, placing 20th out of 120 runners.
The day’s highlight for Lancaster High cross country was in the girls race.
“Our varsity girls team finished third overall out of 17 teams,” Pauling said. “This means our whole girls team qualified for state and we will now be running in the state championship meet with the top 18 remaining teams in the state.”
At the meet, six of seven girls also put in their personal-best times.
“Congratulations to JeNae Jones, Jennell Jones, Jazmyne Jones, Reagan Latham, Brooke Penegar, Tyson Blanton, Eden Christopher and Caitlin Sitte for all doing their part to get us this far. Also, congratulations to our top girl finisher JeNae Jones, who came in 15th place overall,” Pauling said.
“These accomplishments this past weekend are a huge step for our program and to my knowledge this is the first LHS team that has ever made it to the state championship in cross country,” Pauling said. “We have had individuals make it before, but not a whole team. Over the past several years, we have really been trying to build the tradition and pride in our program, and this is a great step in that direction. This was a special day for our program. I’ve been telling these girls all year, that they can ‘put us on the map’ this season, and they definitely did so on Saturday.
“We surprised a lot of people with the third-place finish overall, and the next few years look very promising as our top seven girl runners are all freshmen and sophomores,” he said.
The state championship meet is Saturday at Sandhills Park in Columbia.