The South Georgia State College Hawks cross country team finished a whirlwind season Wednesday afternoon at the International Horse Park in Conyers with a third-place finish.
The season, which only lasted about seven weeks and comprised just two meets, came and went in a flash. The small but dedicated group of six runners – two sophomores and four freshmen – got off to a late start then had the season cut short by scheduling difficulties, Hurricane Michael, and injuries. In spite of the challenges, the runners stayed focused on their goals and improved steadily throughout the season.
Sophomore Jessilyn Graham (who is also a swimmer for the Hawks swim team; she holds three school records in the breast stroke) finished first among SGSC’s group. She cracked the top 10 with a solid 10th place finish. Daniela Ramos, another two-sport athlete (soccer), was next, followed by Brooke Reese, Keiyana Palmer, and Jessica Paul (another soccer player).
Oxford College won the championship. Georgia Military College took second. SGSC finished nine points behind GMC.
“Overall, I was pleased with how the season turned out. Our girls faced a lot of challenges this year but they did everything I asked of them. We lost a very good runner midseason due to injury, which hurt us at the end of the year. We just didn’t have the depth we needed to overcome injuries, which you’ve got to have. But we are committed to rebuilding this team into a conference contender. We took a huge step in the right direction this season. We’re going to take a few weeks off and recover. After that, we’ll start getting ready for 2019,” stated coach Robert Preston Jr.