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South Effingham's Phillips secures cross country title
Effingham County's Thomas shatters school mark again
Levi Thomas
Effingham County senior Levi Thomas finished fifth at the Region 2-AAAAAA Cross Country Championships at the College of Coastal Georgia on Thursday. Thomas' time of 16:54 broke the school record for the third time this year. - photo by Image submitted

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

South Effingham’s Tyler Phillips was slowed by stomach cramps at the Region 2-AAAAAA Cross Country Championships on Thursday. The discomfort didn’t cramp the junior’s ability to capture his second region title, however.

Phillips finished the College of Coastal Georgia’s 5-kilometer course with a time of 16:13 to place first by 21 seconds over Mustangs’ teammate Julian Howard.

Phillips also won a region championship as a freshman, then finished second at region behind Richmond Hill’s Memphis Rich last year.

Rich posted a 16:06 at region last season at the Brunswick venue.

“I was hoping to break the course record (for a second time) and the meet record. I was happy to go 1-2 with Julian,” Phillips said.

Phillips and all his SEHS teammates advanced to the Class AAAAAA state meet in Carrollton on Saturday.

The top four teams and top six individuals at the region meet qualified for state. The Mustangs girls team placed second behind Glynn Academy. The SEHS boys were third behind Evans and Lakeside (Evans).

Effingham County’s Levi Thomas qualified for state individually with a fifth-place finish. Thomas’ time of 16:54 broke the school record for the third time this season. He’ll be the lone Rebel at state because, as teams, ECHS’ boys finished seventh and the girls placed sixth.

Phillips ran a personal-best 16:03 at the sixth-annual Run The Plank meet to claim the course record on the College of Coastal Georgia campus on Oct. 13.

Now he hopes to better his fourth-place showing at state as a freshman.

“Hopefully, a top-three (finish) and run fast,” said Phillips about his goals for Carrollton. “I’m excited. Hopefully, I start (the race) well.”

Here are the finishes and times for South Effingham and Effingham County boys and girls runners at the region meet.

SEHS boys — Tyler Phillips (1st, 16:13), Julian Howard (2nd, 16:34), Caiden Mason (15th, 17:51), Zane Bell (25th, 18:18), Domenic Harrison (36th, 19:07), Cesar Martinez (42nd, 19:56) and Nathaniel West (44th, 20:07).

SEHS girls — Magdalene Morgan (4th, 21:23), Lily McDonald (6th, 21:30), Brianna Barber (11th, 22:27), Mia Fitzpatrick (16th, 23:23), Anna Katherine Raley (20th, 23:45), Katelyn Bittle (25th, 25:16) and Christina Gibbons (31st, 26:35).

ECHS boys — Levi Thomas (5th, 16:54), Brevin Bergman (32nd, 18:58), Ayden Wine (41st, 19:53), Zander Martin (43rd, 19:59), Jacob Conaway (45th, 21:24) and Robbie Velasquez (47th, 21:58).

ECHS girls — Brooke Maseda (12th, 22:42), Shelby Hilton (23rd, 24:01), Ivey Rahn (35th, 27:19), Ellie Forwood (38th, 28:34), Presley Krahne (39th, 29:09), Emily Timms (40th, 30:09) and Emma Maseda (46th, 32:50).