Erin O’Brien led the Jackson County girls’ cross country squad to a fifth-place finish Tuesday (Oct. 12) at the Mountain Invitational at Unicoi State Park in Helen.

O’Brien came in ninth, finishing the 5,000-meter race in 22:03. Anna Warren wasn’t too far behind her in 19th (22:42). Morgan Eldridge (30th – 23:19), Kendall Goetzman (51st – 24:37), Alina Jurovschi (53rd – 24:40), Kamryn Shaw-Foreman (58th – 28:00), and Tiffany Holly (88th – 28:02) also had good showings for the Panthers by finishing in the top half of a race featuring 187 runners.

North Hall won the girls’ race with 40 points and five runners in the top 25, including four in the top 10. The Panthers scored 162 points and finished behind White County (128), Greenbrier (122) and Loganville (71). Greenbrier and Loganville are Region 8-AAAAA rivals.

The Jackson County boys’ cross country team finished 16th overall and its top performer was Blake Martin (60th – 20:10). 219 runners competed in the 5,000-meter race, and five Panthers placed in the top half: Silas Gillespie (76th – 20:41), Dylan Jurovschi (86th – 20:58), Alex Southivong (92nd – 21:11) and Nolan Bell (101st – 21:48).

Jackson County’s next event is Saturday (Oct. 16) at Pickens County.

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