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El Dorado junior girls win cross country title

by Tony Burns | October 9, 2021 at 6:20 p.m.

El Dorado hosted the Wildcat Invitational Cross Country Meet Saturday morning at Goodwin Field. Hermitage won the senior high boys and junior high boys titles. Magnolia won the senior high girls division and El Dorado claimed the junior high girls crown.

It was the fourth year for the event.

"It was smooth. Every year that we've hosted it, it's been just a little bit smoother. No major problems today," said El Dorado coach John Koonce. "We had a good turnout from the crowd. Had a good turnout from the teams in the region. It was a good day."

El Dorado's junior high girls were dominant in their division. Abby Seymour won the event with a time of 11:27.86. Teammates Clarabeth Black and Carly Meadows finished third and fourth with Corin Melear and Ainsley Colvin placing seventh and eighth, respectively.

Magnolia's Lily Manuel was second with Sophie Ellington and Presley Hanson, also of Magnolia, finishing fifth and sixth.

"It wasn't close. They came out and took care of business," Koonce said. "We're finally getting back to full strength with the junior girls. We've actually been down a few kids all year long. But with those kids down, there have been other kids who have stepped up. They've stepped up in a big way."

Seymour won the race by 37 seconds.

"It was a race where she came out controlled. It was close at the beginning. With about a half-mile to go, she just pulled away from her. The girl from Magnolia hung with her for about a mile and then Abby took over," said Koonce. (Black and Meadows) were big. They were fifth and sixth at the mile point. They stepped up and got third and fourth."

El Dorado's Zachary McMillon won the junior high boys race with a time of 9:35.11. Jake Dilworth finished eighth.

"Good gosh, his pace was 5:15, 5:20. He was phenemonal. He blew the field away. It was never a doubt," Koonce said of McMillon. "And he did that beating the kid that beat him, the last time he saw him. Zach looked very good today. He comes around that 1.7 and he looked like he probably could've maintained for another 1.4."

El Dorado sophomore Emma McGee ran a 21:59.26 to finish second in the senior high girls race behind Monticello's Cantley Gosdin, who won in 21:15.30.

"Another good day for Emma," said Koonce. "The girl from Monticello, she's closing in on her. Coming into this meet, there were two girls from Monticello that she had never beaten before. She beat one of them today. So now there's only one. The only one left that she hasn't beaten, she's getting closer and closer to. Last year, she was four minutes behind her. At the beginning of this year, she was two minutes behind her. It was 40 seconds today.

"Very proud of Emma, as always. Emma leaves everything on the course. When she gets through the finish line, she collapses. She doesn't leave anything. She empties the tank every race."

Parkers Chapel's Reaux McAuliffe finished ninth in the senior girls race.

Hermitage's Joseph Garay won the senior boys race with a time of 17:32.35.

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