The Jekyll Island Invitational is normally one of the premier meets in the state the weekend of Labor Day but the meet had a much different feel this year with all the Covid-19 restrictions.
The normal 25 HS teams had dwindled down to only 11 showing for the meet after race management made changes to the race schedule just a few days before the meet. The changes and the Covid-19 restrictions left several teams searching for replacement meets that were better suited for travel or team schedules. However the Jeff Davis High Schools teams stayed committed to racing the event and making it work regardless of the schedule.
In the opening boys race Tyler Phillips of South Effingham raced out to the front early in the race and held on to take the overall win. While Jackets junior Briley Reyes (16th) edged out freshman Pierce Parlor (18th) at the finish by one second. Rounding out the scoring five for the Jacket boys was Cravey (27th), Manning (19:49), Ryals (20:10) with a 5th place finish behind four larger classification teams.
Following the boys race the Lady Jackets opened their official season in their first race of the year. South Effingham runner Cheynne Ryan made it a clean sweep for the Mustangs as she also ran out in front of the pack to clinch the individual title. Junior Zoie Marchant who was in fourth place at the 2-mile mark surged in the final mile to finish second overall while sophomore Alex Uribe (7th) also finished in the Top 10. Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Jackets was Avila (23rd), Beach (31st), and Rangel (34th) with a solid third place finish behind South Effingham and Richmond Hill, two larger classification teams.
The high school teams will be back in action Sept. 17 when they host the 4th Annual Southern Georgia XC Championship.
The Jeff Davis Cross Country teams have been busy lately. Above, center, the JDHS girls are shown taking off at the start of a run on Jekyll Island. Left, the teams enjoyed fun time in the ocean at the Jekyll Island beach. Right, the boys take off in the same Jekyll Island race.