After qualifying for and finishing 26th in the state meet as a freshman last fall, Winder-Barrow sophomore cross country runner Matilee Rogers got her sophomore season off to a strong start as she placed third out of 87 runners in the Wildcat Country Season Opener at Apalachee High School on Saturday, Aug. 22.

Rogers finished the race in 20:15.27, behind only Hebron Christian juniors Brooke Browning (19:19.75) and Ellie Brewer (19:52.57). Freshman Victoria Guzman was the only other runner for Winder-Barrow in the girls’ varsity race.

Apalachee, meanwhile, finished ninth out of 10 teams with sophomore Averie Akin finishing seventh overall (21:27.04).

In the boys’ race, the Bulldoggs finished fifth as a team out of 16, while Apalachee took eighth place.

Junior Brian Gaddy led Winder-Barrow, finishing 11th out of 127 runners (17:56.32). Junior Christopher Parada-Rubio was 21st (18:19.55), followed by senior Ryan Kehoe in 27th (18:34.66), sophomore Kyle Kehoe in 47th (19:32.24) and sophomore Daniel Laird in 49th (19:46.93).

Apalachee was led by sophomore Luke Sigman, who took 29th place (18:54.02), while junior Austin Sigman finished 32nd (18:58.44) and sophomore Chad Courtney was 38th (19:15.53).

Gainesville was the team winner in both races, while Wesleyan senior Mac Howie was the individual winner in the boys’ race (16:46.68).

The Apalachee and Winder-Barrow teams will be back in action Saturday, Aug. 29, in the North Georgia Championships at Lamar Murphy Park in Jefferson. The boys’ race will start at 8 a.m., followed by the girls at 8:25 a.m.

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