Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Krueger leads Lincoln and Wolfenden leads Lowndes to victories in Bainbridge

Bainbridge High BearcatsBainbridge High School moved in 2009. The new building is well outside of Bainbridge, Georgia, and is actually closer to the village of Climax. Being that far from the city, though, makes the school's location well-suited for cross-country running--enough so that Bainbridge High's Bearcat Cross-Country Invitational was moved to the school. And that's where the 16th annual Bearcat Invitational took place on Saturday morning, 26 September 2015.


The high school girls' 5K race started at 8:00 AM, the first event of the meet. Lincoln senior Juliana Krueger, up from Tallahassee, won the race in 21:10, finishing close to 150 meters ahead of the next runner. Fitzgerald frosh Karen Garcia was second in 21:48, and Bainbridge sophomore Uriyah Davis (21:59) outkicked Thomas County Central sophomore Cara Eaton (22:00) and Pataula Charter junior Alli Hay (22:01) for third.


Krueger was joined by Lincoln's other four scorers--frosh Jirah Arnold (10th, 23:01) and sophomores Shayla Nguyen (14th, 23:16), Arianna Neely (15th, 23:19), and Asta Hemenway (29th, 24:19)--giving the Tallahassee team 60 points and first place. Lee County was second with points, led by junior Ashley Bennett (16th, 23:20). Thomas County Central placed third in the thirteen-team field with 86 points.


2015 Bearcat Invitational Team Standings, High School Girls
  1. Lincoln, 60
  2. Lee County, 74
  3. Thomas County Central, 86
  4. Westover, 94
  5. Tift County, 94
  6. Bainbridge, 125
  7. Fitzgerald, 203
  8. Lowndes, 230
  9. Pelham, 252
  10. Worth County, 262
  11. Berrien County, 285
  12. Baconton Charter, 293
  13. Thomasville, 306

Top 15 High School Girls, 2015 Bearcat Invitational
  1. 21:09.39 ~ Juliana Krueger (Lincoln) 12Juliana Krueger
  2. 21:47.18 ~ Karen Garcia (Fitzgerald) 9
  3. 21:58.09 ~ Uriyah Davis (Bainbridge) 10
  4. 21:59.06 ~ Cara Eaton (Thomas County Central) 10
  5. 22:00.94 ~ Alli Hay (Pataula Charter) 11
  6. 22:18.68 ~ Angela Cipriani (Thomas County Central) 11
  7. 22:19.88 ~ Perra Harrell (Grace Christian) 12
  8. 22:25.08 ~ Janie Plowden (Westover) 11
  9. 22:38.59 ~ Ashlee Golden (Tift County) 10
  10. 23:00.11 ~ Jirah Arnold (Lincoln) 9
  11. 23:07.46 ~ Jinglei Horchler (Thomas County Central) 10
  12. 23:10.08 ~ Harley Stephens (Tift County) 11
  13. 23:11.69 ~ Ramsay Miller (Lee County) 10
  14. 23:15.76 ~ Shayla Nguyen (Lincoln) 10
  15. 23:18.79 ~ Arianna Neely (Lincoln) 10

At the Cougar Cross Country Challenge in Tallahassee on 29 August 2015, Bainbridge sophomore Poncherella Leonard had finished seventh in 17:30--one place and seven seconds ahead of Lowndes High junior Kaleb Wolfenden. But two weeks later, Wolfenden won the Lee County Invitational and Poncherella was sixth. Wolfenden won again on 19 September 2015 at the Quail Trail Invitational, running 16:48 while Poncherella finished second in 17:09. The two met again on Poncherella's home course in the Bearcat Invitational high school boys' 5K. It was close, but Wolfenden edged Poncherella for the win, 16:52 to 16:56. Lowndes senior Chance Roe was third in 17:05.


Bainbridge frosh Caleb Harris was sixth in 17:32, giving the host Bearcats two runners in the top ten. But Lowndes had a total of four in the top ten, with junior Daniel Swilley taking ninth in 17:37 and frosh Hayden Bills tenth in 17:53. Senior runner Dylan Rogers was the fifth Lowndes scorer, 20th in 18:48, and the boys from Valdosta had 43 points and the team championship. Bainbridge was second with 61 points. Tallahassee Lincoln was third with 81 points after putting two runners in the top ten--sophomore Clayton Carlson (7th, 17:34) and junior Josh Liles (8th, 17:34).


2015 Bearcat Invitational Team Standings, High School Boys
  1. Lowndes, 43
  2. Bainbridge, 61
  3. Lincoln, 81
  4. Thomas County Central, 111
  5. Lee County, 128
  6. Seminole County, 183
  7. Tift County, 236
  8. Westover, 237
  9. Berrien County, 239
  10. Fitzgerald, 270
  11. Cairo, 309
  12. Worth County, 343
  13. Albany, 350
  14. Thomasville, 397
  15. Baconton Charter, 399
  16. Early County, 428
  17. Grace Christian, 496

Top 15 High School Boys, 2015 Bearcat Invitational
  1. 16:51.48 ~ Kaleb Wolfenden (Lowndes) 11Kaleb Wolfenden
  2. 16:55.46 ~ Poncherella Leonard (Bainbridge) 10
  3. 17:04.40 ~ Chance Roe (Lowndes) 12
  4. 17:09.80 ~ Robert Grooms (Lee County) 12
  5. 17:25.21 ~ Sam Gelabert (Thomas County Central) 12
  6. 17:31.57 ~ Caleb Harris (Bainbridge) 9
  7. 17:33.40 ~ Clayton Carlson (Lincoln) 10
  8. 17:33.60 ~ Josh Liles (Lincoln) 11
  9. 17:36.35 ~ Daniel Swilley (Lowndes) 11
  10. 17:52.84 ~ Hayden Bills (Lowndes) 9
  11. 17:54.02 ~ Salvado Alonzo (Cairo) 12
  12. 18:07.16 ~ Bennett Enfinger (Bainbridge) 12
  13. 18:17.64 ~ Demetrius Gilliard (Westover) 12
  14. 18:25.96 ~ Noah Owens (Thomas County Central) 10
  15. 18:26.80 ~ Matthew Fisher (Tift County) 12

The distance for high school cross-country races has become more or less set at five kilometers, but the middle schools in the region sometimes race at two miles and other times at three kilometers. Tift eighth-grader Emily Golden has proven capable of winning at either distance, with victories at the Pelham Hornet Invitational on 22 August 2015, the Lee County Invitational on 12 September 2015, and the Quail Trail Invitational on 19 September 2015. Golden won again in the middle school girls' two-mile race at the Bearcat Invitational, running 13:04. Seminole County eighth-grader Macy Williams outkicked Worth County eighth-grader Brianna Zupko for second, both runners clocked in 13:19.


In addition to Golden, Tift had three more runners in the top ten, seventh-grader Noelia Sandoval (6th, 13:53), eighth-grader Caroline Vickers (8th, 14:12), and eighth-grader Rebekah Larger (9th, 14:13). Sixth-grader Ainsley Toews (11th, 14:30) finished the scoring for Tift, giving the team a winning total of 31 points. Led by eighth-grader Victoria Natoli (7th, 14:06) Lee County scored 85 points and placed second among the eleven teams in the race. Berrien County was third with 106 behind top-scorer Maddie Harper (15th, 14:59).


2015 Bearcat Invitational Team Standings, Middle School Girls
  1. Tift, 31
  2. Lee County, 85
  3. Berrien County, 106
  4. Seminole County, 129
  5. Thomas County, 130
  6. Whigham, 184
  7. MacIntyre Park, 193
  8. Baconton Charter, 199
  9. Bainbridge, 200
  10. Pataula Charter, 211
  11. Grace Christian, 243

Top 15 Middle School Girls, 2015 Bearcat Invitational
  1. 13:03.55 ~ Emily Golden (Tift) 8
  2. 13:18.10 ~ Macy Williams (Seminole County) 8
  3. 13:18.68 ~ Brianna Zupko (Worth County) 8
  4. 13:38.31 ~ Anna James (Thomas County) 7
  5. 13:49.35 ~ Meg Houston (Pataula Charter) 7
  6. 13:52.86 ~ Noelia Sandoval (Tift) 7
  7. 14:05.72 ~ Victoria Natoli (Lee County) 8
  8. 14:11.13 ~ Caroline Vickers (Tift) 8
  9. 14:12.43 ~ Rebekah Larger (Tift) 8
  10. 14:23.69 ~ Emily Phillips (Lee County) 6
  11. 14:29.99 ~ Ainsley Toews (Tift) 6
  12. 14:53.58 ~ Megan Curry (Thomas County) 8
  13. 14:57.81 ~ Willa Dyer (Lee County) 8
  14. 14:57.98 ~ Katie McMillan (Tift) 7
  15. 14:58.65 ~ Maddie Harper (Berrien County) 7

In the middle school boys' two-mile race, Henry Plowden also logged his fourth win of the 2015 season. The Westover eighth-grader already had wins at the Mid State Cross Country Classic on 22 August 2015, the Cougar Cross Country Challenge on 29 August 2015, and the Lee County Invitational on 12 September 2015. At the Bearcat Invitational Plowden ran away from the field, posting a time of 11:39 and finishing nearly 150 meters ahead of the next runner.


But Plowden was Westover's only entry in the race, so he didn't figure into the team scoring. The next two runners did, and they were both from Lee County--eighth-grader Benjamin Phillips was second in 12:11 and sixth-grader Josh Macklin third in 12:18.


Lee County also had a third runner in the top ten, eighth-grader Walker Pinson (10th, 12:55). Add seventh-grader Will Tomlinson (17th, 13:27) and eighth-grader Noah Bain (18th, 13:27), and Lee County had 40 points and the team title. Led by eighth-grader Morgan Bolmer (8th, 12:44), Berrien County scored 61 points and placed second among the twelve teams in the race. Tift put two runners in the top ten--seventh-graders Bryce Stephens (5th, 12:26) and Beau Bengston (7th, 12:29)--on their way to third-place showing with 71 points.


2015 Bearcat Invitational Team Standings, Middle School Boys
  1. Lee County, 40
  2. Berrien County, 61
  3. Tift, 71
  4. Bainbridge, 113
  5. Thomas County, 134
  6. MacIntyre Park, 152
  7. Worth County, 154
  8. Baconton Charter, 248
  9. Seminole County, 249
  10. Pataula Charter, 269
  11. Whigham, 343
  12. Pelham, 352

Top 15 Middle School Boys, 2015 Bearcat Invitational
  1. 11:38.38 ~ Henry Plowden (Westover) 8Henry Plowden
  2. 12:10.29 ~ Benjamin Phillips (Lee County) 8
  3. 12:17.23 ~ Josh Macklin (Lee County) 6
  4. 12:21.21 ~ Stokes Moore (Bainbridge) 8
  5. 12:25.81 ~ Bryce Stephens (Tift) 7
  6. 12:28.01 ~ Gabe Parker (Grace Christian) 8
  7. 12:28.43 ~ Beau Bengston (Tift) 7
  8. 12:43.87 ~ Morgan Bolmer (Berrien County) 8
  9. 12:45.92 ~ Lawson Brinkley (MacIntyre Park) 7
  10. 12:54.78 ~ Walker Pinson (Lee County) 8
  11. 12:57.59 ~ Wyatt Carpenter (Grace Christian) 8
  12. 13:00.77 ~ Kenyatta Bennett (Berrien County) 8
  13. 13:09.94 ~ Michael Brickle (Worth County) 6
  14. 13:15.88 ~ Jeremiah Thomas (Tift) 7
  15. 13:17.38 ~ Joe Emmons (Bainbridge) 8

Timing of the 2015 Bearcat Invitational was provided by Miles and Minutes, LLC, of Tallahassee, Florida.


Bainbridge High School Bearcat Cross-Country Invitational Champions
2000 - 2015
High School Girls 5K
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ









27 September 2003Tift County, 3922:28, Demonessa Pyle (Berrien County)



24 September 2005Tift County, 32
23 September 2006

22 September 2007

20 September 2008Bainbridge, 3921:06, April Thomas (Bainbridge) 10
19 September 2009Westover, 4519:31, April Thomas (Bainbridge) 11
18 September 2010Lee County
17 September 2011Tift County, 3621:50, Ericka Taylor (Westover) 11
22 September 2012Thomasville, 6421:05, Ericka Taylor (Westover) 12
14 September 2013Thomas County Central, 5519:56, Paige Braswell (Bainbridge) 12
20 September 2014Maclay, 3519:11, Elizabeth Funderburk (Colquitt County) 9
26 September 2015Lincoln, 6021:10, Juliana Krueger (Lincoln) 12
High School Boys 5K
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ









27 September 2003Westover, 4117:47, David Marley (Westover)



24 September 2005Bainbridge, 54
23 September 2006

22 September 2007

20 September 2008Tift County, 3717:13, David Daniel (Thomasville) 11
19 September 2009Tift County, 4916:04, Hunter Honeycutt (Tift County) 10
18 September 2010Westover
17 September 2011Tift County, 5516:48, Hunter Honeycutt (Tift County) 12
22 September 2012Bainbridge, 7716:40, Josh Mason (Westover) 12
14 September 2013Bainbridge, 6516:15, Chase Harris (Bainbridge) 11
20 September 2014Maclay, 5116:59, Bryce Swindell (Lassiter) 12
26 September 2015Lowndes, 4316:52, Kaleb Wolfenden (Lowndes) 11
Additions and corrections to this table will be accepted gratefully. ~HW


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