On Saturday, Aug. 29 Mary Persons cross county teams travelled to Madison for the Rick Boulis Invitational and Justin Wachtel again delivered an elite runner performance as he finished first in the Varsity Boys 5K with a time of 16 minutes. His nearest competitor, a runner from Greene County, completed the course in 18:01. There were 87 runners, representing 14 schools, in the race. 

Mary Persons Varsity Boys finished 3rd as a team in the Invitational with 97 points. Athens Christian finished first with 54 points, and Westminster was second with 89 points. Mary Persons edged out South Gwinnett, which took 4th place with 99 points.

For Mary Persons Westen Dunwody was the second runner to cross the finish line at 20:22 as the 18th finisher, seconds ahead of Conner Battles (20:31). Then came Clayton Drury (21:07) and Holden Haworth (21:14), followed by Cole Battles (22:16) and Jacob Phillips (22:31).

The Mary Persons Varsity Girls brought home the 1st place trophy from the Rick Boulis Invitational, racing against 13 schools and 57 runners. With 43 points, the team bested 2nd place Westminster and 3rd place George Walton Academy, both with 66 points, and 4th place Morgan County with 71 points. 

A Morgan County runner finished first at 22 minutes flat. Mary Persons’ Ava McKallip was 3rd at 22:50. Other finishers on the Lady Bulldogs team were 6th place Alanna Wood at 23:27, 11th place Sarah Boyer at 23:59, and 12th place Madelyn Causey at 24:00. Caroline Hampton (26:01) and Genna Hallman (26:05) finished together, followed by Stormie Martin (29:35).

Mary Persons boys took 2nd place in the Junior Varsity division 5K, with nine runners in the race. They were, in order of finish: Leighton Judd, Jacob Bedgood, Brendan Funck, Marshall Causey, Mitchell Whitfield, William McElmurray, Davis Wilson, Caleb Hollifield, Colby Hubbard.

Mary Persons had three Lady Bulldogs competing in the JV Girls division. Laura Martin finished 8th, Mary Alice Marks finished 9th, and Graysen Gaylord finished 12th.

Middle Schoolers competed in a two-mile run at the Rick Boulis Invitational. The Monroe County Middle School boys placed 6th in a race of 62 runners. Gavin Harris finished 6th at 13:24 and was the top MCMS runner. Other team members, in order of finish, were Isaac McKallip, Gavin Mitchell, Mac Roeser, Christopher Simpson and Gavin Cabe.

Gabriella Hover was the top Monroe County Middle School runner in the girls two-mile race, finishing 6th in a field of 60 girls with a time of 15:15. Her teammates were Kolbi McBrayer (17:18), Lydia Geer and Alecia Gifford. Since MCMS didn’t have five runners, it didn’t place as a team.