Effingham County High School’s cross country program took a giant leap forward on Thursday, winning a four-team meet in Vidalia.
The Rebel runners, who didn’t have enough runners to compete as a team last season, placed three runners in the top five and five in the top 10.
Freshman Hank Campbell turned in his best performance, covering the 3.1-mile course in 19 minutes and 24 seconds.
“To see my freshman coming out of the woods ahead of everybody and 40 yards ahead of the next guy and staying 40 yards ahead was great,” ECHS coach Mick Danielson said. “It was a great day for us.”
Effingham’s runners defeated Appling County, Vidalia and Screven County.
After Campbell crossed the finish line, two Vidalia runners finished, then three Effingham runners came striding through.
Brandon Douberly finished fourth overall and second for the Rebels in 20:55. Nick Cannon finished fifth in 21:04. Five seconds behind him was Tiras Thomson and Brandon Pearce finished eighth at 22:23.
“Its amazing. We couldn’t even put a team together last year. The boys are doing better than I wanted,” Danielson said.
Will Elmgren ran the race in 23:51 and Justin Holmes finished in 25:30.
The girls runners also had a terrific race, finishing second to Appling County.
Eighth grader Riley Morrison paced the Lady Rebels and finished second overall with a time of 25:28.
Kassie Richbourg finished seventh overall and second for Effingham County in 26:44. Four seconds behind her was Kristin Burgstiner. Brooke Stiltner took 11th place in 28:14 and Amber Tinney finished 12th in 28:45.
Gabby Houston ran the race in 32:46 and Chandel McDonie finished in 33:04.