Jahlae Sapp finishes third, womens team finishes fifth at Bearcat cross country season opener

Published 7:13 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

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Senior cross-country runner Jahlae Sapp led the bearcats with a third-place finish in this weekend’s Sherwood Christian Academy “Around the Cross” invitational meet.

“He ran one of the smartest races I’ve seen him run in his career,” said head coach Eric Conner. “We told Jahlae, if he wanted any chance of having a good run, he needed to get out quickly and early.”

Conner told Sapp that because the course takes a sharp left turn 100 yards into the race. More than 200 runners were in the race, and Conner said Sapp would have gotten bottle-necked if he wasn’t at the front of the pack on that turn.

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Sapp finished with an 18:04.2 and led the varsity men’s team to a sixth-place finish.

Sapp had the best individual result in the meet, but the girls made a splash on Saturday. The varsity women’s team finished fifth, and the middle school girl’s team finished second.

“They did good at pack running, meaning that all my girls finished together,” Conner said about the varsity women’s team. “That’s pretty much picture-perfect what you want your team to do.”

The Ladycats had five runners finish between 26th and 39th. Freshman Teagan Barefoot led the team with a 28:17.6.

“It was her first race as a high schooler, and she was number one for the team,” Conner said.

Jada Anderson and Emerson Huggins led the middle school team to its second-place finish. Anderson finished 6th, and Huggins finished 10th.

“The middle school girls did fantastic,” Conner said.

According to Conner, the middle school boys had a strong showing but did not field enough runners to submit a team score. Brayden Inlow led the team with a 21st-place finish.

The team’s next competition is the “Dueling Summits” meet in Tallahassee, FL, Saturday.