Lilly Langley has finished a strong second and fourth at the first two Cross Country meets (Photo by Khris Martin)
(Franklin) – A brand new sports team at Heard County Middle School is already making its mark after only two competitions in their inaugural season of competition. Melissa Nichol is coaching the first ever middle school cross country team that will serve as a feeder program for the Heard High School teams.
The team features both male and female runners and the meets consist of a two-mile open air run across mostly natural terrain.
A couple of the female athletes have already served notice to other area cross country runners as immediate challengers for wins.
At the first meet ever held at HCMS Tuesday and second overall for the team, Lilly Langley and Melissa Collins finished second and third respectively out of a field of 84 female runners from all over the area.
The really strong finishes by Langley and Collins propelled the girls squad to a surprising fourth place finish at the meet finishing only behind Carrollton (1st), Bremen (2nd), and Gardner-Newman (3rd). Holly Moreland has also been a strong runner for the girl’s team and finished 21st at Tuesday’s meet.
On the boys team, Jacob Ragland, Mason McLead, Nick Bradley, and Seth Mason have been the leaders of the pack. McLead, a seventh-grader, finished in fourteenth place at Tuesday’s meet out of 79 boys. As a team, the boys finished in fifth place ahead of both Bowdon and Mt. Zion.
Nichol is happy with the progress and attitudes of her young athletes. “I’m very proud if the effort these students have given. They come to practice with a positive attitude and a willingness to work diligently, ” said Nichol. “I consider myself very fortunate to have been given this opportunity and hope that we are paving the way for future cross country runners in Heard County.”