As students and teachers return for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, a slew of Greenville area high school runners are set to kick off the fall cross country campaign. Last November, nearly 200 male and female runners represented Greenville County at the South Carolina Cross Country State Championships in Columbia. With statewide competition being fierce among the four class levels (A, AA, AAA, AAAA), local athletes look to assess their summer training in several key early season meets.
In Class A, Christ Church’s James Quattlebaum, is again the heavy favorite to claim another state championship. The senior already has three state cross country titles to his name (in three tries) along with eight Class A titles in track. In the 7th Annual Ready for Fall 5K in Spartanburg on August 10, Quattlebaum bested a tough field of prep and collegiate runners (16:12.5) on a wet course. With a personal cross country record of 15:43.03, Quattlebaum is poised to add to his dominant prep legacy before embarking on a sure collegiate career.
Also returning in Class A is junior Micah Williams of the Greer Middle College Charter Blazers. Williams placed 4th in the state meet last year and has a personal best of 16:33.
Senior Logan White of Wade Hampton had a season best of 16:15.18 in 2012 while Riverside senior Dan Castello looks to follow up on his 12th place finish (16:20.14) in the Class AAAA championships.
Coach Delmer Howell’s Mauldin Mavs enter the fall with a deep roster that could compete for a top team finish at November’s Class 4A state championship. Ryan Smith’s 16:22.43 clocking at the Lake Murray Invitational last September was tops among state freshman runners. Senior Sawyer Willingham has a personal best of 16:20.40 which was good enough for a 13th place finish at the Columbia state final.
On the girl’s side, Class A runner-up from 2012, Keyes Gilmer of St. Josephs (Junior), returns alongside teammates Sara Catheri Masaschi (Sophomre; 3rd place state finisher) and Carol Lewis (Senior; 4th at state championship).
Heather Elliott (Eastside, Junior) hopes to improve on her promising 11th place finish in last year’s Class AAA state final. On the track side, Elliott was a 3rd place finisher in the 3200 meters and 8th in the 1600 meters, respectively.
A pair of Wade Hampton sophomores return as preseason standouts in Girls Class 4A. Caroline Trembly and Marley White both turned in sub-19 minute marks last year at the state championship meet. Wade Hampton enters the season as the top ranked girls team in the state, with five runners having run under 20 minute 5Ks in the 2012 campaign.
Senior Allie Arsiniega of Riverside High in Greer will lead the state’s number two ranked Warrior squad. Arsiniega was 9th last year in the Class 4A championship (18:52.61) and finished 6th in the 1600 meters finals in track this past May.
Upcoming cross country meets in the Upstate include the SCSDB Eye Opener in Spartanburg (September 6-7), The Furman Classic in Greenville (September 14) and Schlotzky’s Invitational in Anderson (September 21).
Other local Greenville runners to watch out for this season:
Class A Boys
Carter Powell (Sophomore, St. Josephs) PR: 16:55.05
Class AAA Boys
Sam DiBridge (Senior, Travelers Rest) PR: 16:48.63
Joran Mills (Senior, Blue Ridge) PR: 16:57.50
Parker Dowe (Senior, Greenville) PR: 16:59.35
Class AAAA Boys
Zachary Girvin (Senior, Mauldin) PR: 16:35.00
Alex Spencer (Junior, Wade Hampton) PR: 16:46.00
Evans Harrison (Sophomore, Riverside) PR: 16:56.00
Ethan Mook (Senior, Riverside) PR: 16:56.92
Class AAA Girls
Marion Reeves (Junior, Eastside) PR: 19:37.14
Julia McDonald (Senior, Greenville) PR: 19:43.12
Class AAAA Girls
Carly Howell (Junior, Riverside) PR: 19:14.24
Jane Macsay (Senior, Mauldin) PR: 19:24.00
London Miller (Senior, Wade Hampton) PR: 19:37.80
Maria Bartlett (Senior, Wade Hampton) PR: 19:40.00
Mikie Harris (Freshman, Riverside) PR: 19:41.13
Emma Spencer (Sophomore, Riverside) PR: 19:41.86
For the most up-to-date South Carolina High School cross country coverage, check out http://sc.milesplit.com/