Walker Elrod places second at Cecil Summer Classic in Jacksonville

Published 1:41 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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In a year full of new challenges and accomplishments, Grace Christian Academy freshman runner Walker Elrod represented the Bainbridge community at the Cecil Summer Classic in Jacksonville this past weekend.

In a competition that saw 400 runners, Elrod placed second overall and set a PR of 17:25 in the 5K. Despite having to battle the heat, rain, elements and a long travel schedule, Elrod ran a race that not only made his peers proud, but his family as well.

“It was really good to see Walker be able to not only compete in a large race but also do well,” said his mother Samantha. “We continue to be impressed with Walker and the sportsmanship from the running community.”

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Grace Christian Academy cross country coach Elizabeth Simmons is mostly impressed with the leadership and encouragement Elrod shows his teammates and his competitors.

“Walker is a great kid and a tremendous leader,” said Simmons. “He is always cheering on his teammates, helping his teammates and leading the way. These kids really look up to him and we are so happy he’s on our team.”

Next up for the Grace Christian Academy cross country team is the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Thomasville this upcoming Friday. This race will be a great test for Elrod and the Cougar runners because of the terrain and the elements of the course.

“The course in Thomasville is a more all-terrain course,” said Simmons. “There are hills, trees and that sort of stuff so it’s going to be a great challenge and experience for our runners.”

Friday’s race is also set to begin at 5:00 p.m. which makes the heat another factor to consider being that most cross country races take place in the morning to early afternoon. Regardless, Elrod and the Cougar runners are excited to step up to the challenge.