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Ben Lippen High School
Columbia

 

Ben Lippen boys cross country squad captures back-to-back state titles

By Justin Driggers

Consulting Editor

Columbia – Since the summer, the goal of the Ben Lippen boys cross country team was to compete as a team and not as individuals, head coach Thomas Fisher said.

“Everyone was running for the team – not themselves,” Fisher said.

The result was the program’s second straight state championship on Oct. 27 in Columbia. The Falcons finished with five of the top 10 runners to earn 35 points and outpace second-place Heathwood Hall (56).

“I think the region meet we had 10 days prior was big,” Fisher said. “That was the first time all year that we beat Heathwood Hall. We ran really well that day and I think that sort of gave the guys the confidence to come out and run well at the state championship.”

Junior Camden Abrams (17:09.14) led the way with a fourth-place finish followed by eighth-grader Samari Van Horn (17:09.83) in fifth. Sophomore John Davis (17:29.85) took seventh place while senior Henry Long finished ninth with a time of 17:34:07.

Junior Jacob Sark (17:51.37) rounded out the top 10 and sophomore Jackson McCrudden (17:53.62) finished in 11th place.

 “I’m so proud of all of our guys,” said senior Mason Harmon (19:04.39) after the meet. “We went from sixth place a few years ago to first last year and again this year. I can’t say enough about the young guys who were able to step up this year.”

The BL girls squad was young this season, Fisher said, and finished sixth at the state meet.

A pair of eighth-graders led the way. Kate Hoover (20:48.91) finished 14th overall followed by Ree Williams Zoller (20:57.98) in 16th place.

Riley Beyer, another eighth grader, made the top 30 with a time of 22:05.23. Freshman Calie Morris (23:54.50) was next followed by senior Eliza Moore (24:13.86), eighth-grader Lucia Kirkland (24:25.43) and freshman Lainey Moore (24:38.44).

“We actually graduated eight seniors last year,” Fisher said. “We wanted to put our girls in positions to be successful this year, but we also tailored our training in helping develop technique to compete for state championships in the years to come.

“The girls did very well and we had two in the top 16, so they’re going to be competing at a high level for the next few years.”

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