LaGrange’s Bowie blows the competition away

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 10, 2015

By Kevin Eckleberry

He left them in the dust.

During Saturday’s AT&T Starr’s Mill Panther Invitational, LaGrange High’s Sam Bowie was matched up against some of the best cross-country runners in Georgia and beyond.

It was going to take a sensational performance in the 3.1-mile race to come away with the victory, and Bowie delivered one.

All Bowie did was finish the race in 15 minutes, 33 seconds, which is the fastest time any cross-country runner in Georgia has produced this season, regardless of classification.

It was another 16 seconds before the second-place runner, Brookwood’s Zach Israel, crossed the finish line.

Five runners, including Auburn High’s Paul Barlow, an Alabama state champion in cross country last season, finished in less than 16 minutes.

It was a blistering pace, and no one was faster than Bowie, who is putting the wraps on a phenomenal cross-country career.

When Bowie was a freshman, he finished seventh in the state meet, and he followed that up with a sixth-place finish as a sophomore when LaGrange finished second as a team.

After a 10th-place finish at state a year ago, Bowie will be looking to finish his cross-country career with a state championship in November.

Bowie has also been a track-and-field standout for LaGrange, and he has won numerous medals.

In the Starr’s Mill race last weekend, Liam McDonald was LaGrange’s second fastest runner with a time of 19:21.

McDonald was followed by Reed Henderson (19:42), Joshua Turman (20:15), Kd McCauley (20:35), Drew Morgan (22:06), Michael Ramirez (22:38), Pierce Skinner (23:34) and Denver Bracken (27:22).

In the junior-varsity race, LaGrange’s Matthew Callaway had a time of 20:28 to finish 65th, and Collin Taylor (22:15), Timothy Anderson (22:19), Ramon Santiago (23:08), Joseph Pulliam (23:58) and Dane Bateman (27:50) also ran in that race.

Troup also participated in the Starr’s Mill Invitational in a different division from LaGrange.

Troup’s top finisher was Drew Duram, who was 17th with a time of 18:17.

Next for Troup was Zach Snodgrass, and he was followed by Ryan Fuller (20:41), Kole Murphy (20:50) and Tyler Meadows (20:50).

Braxton Strickland (25:14), Ethan Carlton (25:56) and Chuck Massie (28:43) also ran for Troup.

In the girls’ race, LaGrange’s Alaina Tomlinson (20:26) was 22nd, and she was followed by Audrey Tomlinson (24:26).

LaGrange’s other runners were Emma Kate Shelton (26:44), Brianna Stansbury (27:30), Mary Beth Callaway (28:36), Emily Flowers and Catherine Cauthen.

For Troup, Lila Purrough (24:37) was the top finisher, and she was followed by Evelyn Johnson (25:11), Maya Worle (29:14), Abby Barentine (30:52) and Mary Claire Finley (32:45).

SOFTBALL: LaGrange had no answer for Harris County pitcher Brooke Wagenigg, who threw a no-hitter to lead her team to an 8-0 victory in a Region 1-AAAAA game on Wednesday in Hamilton.

It was scoreless through three innings, but Harris County scored two runs in the fourth inning to take the lead, and it added four more runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports