The South Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Association held its Bob Jenkins Coaches Classic Saturday at the Sandhills course in Columbia. The event is named after Jenkins, the local running coach who guided the programs at Rock Hill, Northwestern and South Pointe high schools, before passing away last year.
International boys division
Rock Hill placed seventh in the International division team standings, followed by Clover (23rd) and Fort Mill (27th).
Fort Mill senior Jeremy Ricks led the local runners, finishing sixth (16:09.67), good enough for National Elite status, according to sc.milesplit.com. Rock Hill sophomore Joey Teachout placed 11th (16:31.28), and Clover senior Ben Clark crossed the line in 14th (16:37.82) as the other local top-20 finisher.
No local girls teams competed in the International division. There was an open division in which York Prep’s Morgan Werner finished ninth (21:46.11).
Championship boys division
South Pointe (202) finished second behind Bishop England (176) in the Championship boys division. Nation Ford placed seventh and Northwestern eighth; Indian Land finished 30th.
Junior Daniel Johnson and sophomore Jason McAteer spurred South Pointe’s second place finish. Johnson finished fifth overall (17:30.14) and McAteer 20th (18:00.28) out of 338 total runners. Northwestern’s Kole Koterba finished fourth (17:27.85), while Nation Ford’s Will Manning placed seventh (17:34.58). Indian Land sophomore Austin St. John also finished in the top-20, placing 14th (17:51.57).
Championship girls division
In the girls half of that division, Fort Mill finished 13th in the team standings, followed by Rock Hill in 17th, Northwestern in 25th, Clover in 30th and Indian Land in 31st.
But it was Olivia Paxton, representing South Pointe, which didn’t send a full team, that produced the highest local finish in the division, fourth (20:00.65). Fort Mill senior Melissa Smith finished 11th (20:10.60), and Rock Hill freshman Lanie Jo Knight placed 22nd (20:39.14). There were 360 girls running in the championship division.