The 2022 Cross Country season for Academic Magnet has begun! The raptors have a real chance to come out on the podium on both the girls and boys sides at the state meet. Last year at the SCHSL State Championship, both the boys and girls teams took home 7th place finishes.
This year, as with all sports for the raptors, the teams have moved down to the 2A classification for the SCHSL. This also comes with a region realignment, changing up the schedule and meet locations. New meets this year will include the Timberland High School Wolf Run and the Region 7-AA Championship, both taking place at Timberland High School in St. Stephens, SC. Another new regulation the raptors can benefit from is the new state budget proviso, allowing for SOA students to compete under AMHS athletics.
The raptors want to dedicate this season to their late coach Tim Limbert, who unexpectedly passed away this past May. Coach Tim helped to lead the raptors boys cross country team while Coach Brian Johnson, who returns this year, was away from the program. Coach Tim helped the raptors achieve 2nd, 5th, and 7th, in 3 SCHSL State Championship appearances under his leadership. He will always be remembered for the impact he had on his runners both in and away from competition.
For the 2022 season, the raptors have a roster featuring 19 runners from AMHS, and a new addition from SOA, Ben Fancher (12). The seniors include, myself (Noah Boudolf, Captain), Ronan Kotz (Captian), Justin Womble (Captain), and Griffin Steigman (Spirit Captain).
The juniors, while being the fewest in number, don’t lack in quality. They include, Colin George (Junior Captain), Adam Kremer (Junior Captain), and Lawton Harper.
The sophomores, after some very impressive freshman campaigns, will have many vying for varsity spots. They are, Quinn Swanton, Peyton Johnson, Calvin Volkmann, Hunter Khunell, Reece Early, Everett Landrith, and John Thomasson.
Finally, the freshman, the newest additions to the squad, Brayden Bunt, CJ Geiger, Nico Pineda, and William Sandler.
The girls return just 2 seniors as a part of their roster of 30 runners for the 2022 campaign, Graycen Lankford and Lulu Massenet.
The junior girls include varsity runners Abby Poole, Burton McCulley and Anna Holister. They are also joined by Summer Hall, Greyson Hanna, Ella Moore, and Abby Haro.
The sophomore girls include Molly George, Sophia Benich, Lindsey Griffin, and Cate Arrants, varsity runners. The roster also includes Kimberly Do, Laurel Dorsey, Louisa Garrett, Megan Massie, and Isla Todd.
The freshman girls have just 1 varsity runner in Makenna Turner. She is joined by Amy Adyaeva, Zadie Hawk, Julia Koch, Vanessa Nguyen, Emma Stavrinakis, Gwen Svendensen, Anna Gladu, and Ava Whitener, completing the freshman portion of the team.
Finally, the girls roster is completed by Adolina Adams (8) from SOA.
Results from First Meet
This past weekend, the raptors took on competition from all over the lowcountry at the Pinewood Invitational in Summerville, SC. Opposing teams such as, Summerville, Phillips Simmons, Hanahan, First Baptist, and West Ashley competed against the raptors. This meet, as usual with the first meet of the year, gives a good gauge as to how the season will progress.
The varsity girls race, beginning at 8:00am had Anna Holister (11), in a hard fought race for the podium, ultimately finishing 2nd in a time of 20:22! Cate Arrants (10) and Makenna Turner (9), both finished in the top 25, with times of 22:15 and 22:23. The other 2 runners to score for the girls team were, Sophia Benich (10) and Abby Poole (11), who completed the race in 23:58 and 24:25. Lindsey Griffin (10), finished in a time of 24:31. Rounding out the varsity squad was Burton McCulley (11) and Molly George (10) finshing in 26:19 and 27:26.
The varsity boys race started at 8:30am, and finsihed with a victory for the raptors with Quinn Swanton (10), taking home the win in a time of 17:03! As a team the raptors took 2nd overall combining for a team score of 68, behind only Philip Simmons, who scored 40. As for the rest of the varsity squad, Colin George (11) and Hunter Kuhnell (10) finished in 18:20 and 18:21, respectively. In his first high school race, Ben Fancher (12) finished with a time of 18:38. Peyton Johnson and Everett Landrith both ran the 5k with times of 18:56, finishing in the order listed. Adam Kremer (11), Reece Early (10), and Ronan Kotz (12), rounded out the varisty boys, each coming in at just over 20:00.
The girls junior varsity race began at 9:00am with Julia Koch (9) finishing first for the raptors in a time of 26:33. Adolina Adams (8), one of the girls’ team additions from SOA and Zadie Hawk (9), both finished just over 28 minutes. Louisa Garrett (10), Laurel Dorsey (10), and Graycen Lankford (12) all finished the race in just over 30 minutes. Rounding out the JV team was Amy Adyaeva with a time of 42:57.
The final race of the day, boys junior varsity began at 9:45, and the raptor boys yet again had an individual winner with Brayen Bunt (9), taking home the win in a time of 19:28! Lawton Harper (11), CJ Geiger (9), and Noah Boudolf (12), all finished in the top 15 with times under 22 minutes. Justin Womble (12) and William Sandler (9) were the next finishers for the raptor boys with times of 22:10 and 23:56. The final 2 raptors were Griffin Steigman (12) and John Thomasson (10) completed their race with in 25:00 and 25:41.
Thoughts on the Remainder of the Upcoming Season
When asked about the raptors postseason hopes for the season, Everett Landrith (10) stated, “I think we have a lot of guys running good times that give us a real chance to compete at state.”
In response to being asked about his preparation for races, Captain Ronan Kotz (12) said, “you don’t start planning right before the race, you come up with your strategy in advance in order to prepare.”
Peyton Johnson (10) hopes he will be able to, “trust my training and have a good mentality in order to help the team.”
In total, the varsity teams will compete in 9 meets from August 27th through November 19th, concluding the season at the state meet. The junior varsity runners will compete in all the races except for the State Qualifiers and State Championship.
August 27th – Pinewood Invitational – Summerville, SC
September 3rd – Eye Opener Invitational – Spartanburg, SC
September 10th – Timberland HS Wolf Run – St. Stephens, SC
September 24th – Lowcountry Invitational – Johns Island, SC
October 8th – SCTCCCA Coaches Classic – Newberry, SC
October 12th – Phillip Simmons HS Iron Horse Derby – Charleston, SC
October 19th – SC Region 7-AA Championship – St. Stephens, SC
November 5th – SC AA State Qualifier – TBA (Sandhills/Newberry)
November 12th – SC AA State Championship – Columbia, SC (Sandhills Research Center)