Lafayette Christian runners stand tall
LAGRANGE – It’s a familiar position for Lafayette Christian School’s Michael Loutzenheiser.
Loutzenheiser, a cross-country standout, is accustomed to leaving the competition behind, and that was the case in last week’s Division II Class A state qualifier that was held at Lafayette Christian’s 3.1-mile course.
Loutzenheiser posted a time of 18 minutes, 26 seconds, and he was more than 30 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Loutzenheiser helped the Cougars finish second in the team standings, and they’ll be in Macon today for the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association state meet.
In the state qualifier, Lafayette Christian finished second to Cherokee Christian.
“That was great. That’s their first team trophy ever,” Lafayette Christian coach Jen Loutzenheiser said. “They’ve been working really hard to do it. We ended up beating the school that has beat us in the past, that’s Colonial Hills. And we beat them well.”
In the girls’ race, Cate Skipworth (24:36) earned a seventh-place finish.
Loutzenheiser and Skipworth both posted their best times of the season on their home course.
“They both took over a minute off their best race there,” coach Loutzenheiser said. “I don’t know if that was the cool weather, or another month of training since then. Some combination probably.”
Coach Loutzenheiser said the teams enjoyed competing on the Lafayette Christian course.
“We’re really proud of our trails,” she said. “The course is really good for spectators. It’s a good variety of hills, and flat areas. We were really happy everybody could come.”
Lafayette Christian’s second runner was Alex Kliesch (20:22) who placed 15th, and Serik Rosencrants (20:42) and Jacob Rocker (20:45) were 18th and 19th, respectively.
Lafayette Christian’s Connor McCutchen (21:02), Isaiah Tusing (21:49), John Reed Batchelor (22:00) and Nathan Campbell (22:27) will also participate in the state meet.
Griffin McLeroy (31:34) also ran in the state qualifier for the Cougars.
For the Lafayette Christian girls’ team, seventh-grader Grace Kelly (27:27) was 17th, Devon Taylor (30:25) was 23rd, Lily Skipworth (32:55) was 29th, and Sydney Broderick (33:25) placed 30th.
Maggie Whitewood of Unity won the girls’ race with a time of 21:47.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports