JEFFERSON’s Reese Bowles won Thursday’s Patriot race at Oglethorpe County, paving the way for a convincing team win for the Lady Dragons with the region meet on the horizon.
Bowles ran a 20:36 — 32 seconds off her personal-best time — to take the top spot individually, finishing four seconds ahead of Jackson County’s Sydney Baird.
Jefferson won on the strength of four top 10 finishes. In addition to Bowles’ first-place showing, the Lady Dragons got a seventh-place finish from Morgan Mitchell (21:35), an eighth-place finish from Sasha Parker (21:52) and a ninth-place finish from Olivia Yates (21:52).
Kaylynn Rainey rounded out the scoring with a time of 23:04.
Jefferson — which ran an average time of 21:48 — finished 21 points ahead of second-place Apalachee. Ten girls teams ran in the event.
Jackson County took third, led by the runner-up finish of Baird, who posted a time of 20:40.
The Lady Panthers had two other top-10 finishers — Maddie Newton (21:19) and Monica Jimenez (22:01). Also adding points for Jackson County were Emily Doeding (29th, 24:13) and Kourtney Axelberg (32nd, 24:56).
East Jackson’s girls also competed in the event but didn’t have enough runners to qualify for a team score. Hayleigh Smith turned in the top time for the Lady Eagles with a 22:06 (12th). Others running were Kristin Whitlock (16th, 22:58), Bailey Brooks (17th, 23:03) and Sydney Moates (88th, 35:53).