Twenty-two schools and just shy of 900 runners participated in Wednesday’s Canned Food 5K cross country meet at Hillcrest High School.
Riverside’s girls team and Wade Hampton’s boys team were winners, as were Riverside’s Allie Arsiniega and Christ Church’s James Quattlebaum, the individual champions.
But no one left feeling quite as victorious as Julia Baynes, director of Golden Strip Emergency Relief, the chief benefactor of the event. A total of 12,924 cans were collected by the schools to be donated to Golden Strip Emergency Relief and Greer Relief.
“Last year, we got about 8,000 cans,” Baynes said, “and it’s so exciting to go back to the office and sort and to know that we are well fixed for winter, or for emergencies or for anybody who gets flooded out, rained out, burned out, anybody who needs extra things, more than just a few little boxes of food for a week.”
“Each day, each week that we’ve been leading up to this, my kids have been coming in and they’re keeping count,” Hillcrest coach Robby Bell said. “They’re not asking about times right now. They’re asking who brought in the most cans this week.”
In the seventh year of the event, Riverside wound up regaining the title it held for the first five years. The Warriors collected 3,609 cans. Hillcrest was second with 3,159, followed by Eastside with 1,146.
* In the girls race, Riverside, No. 1 in Class AAAA and in the state’s overall rankings, had five of the top nine finishers and took first with 24 points. St. Joseph’s, No. 1 and three-time defending state champion in Class A, was second with 54.
Arsiniega, No. 8 in the state’s individual rankings, placed first in 19 minutes, 17 seconds. Sara Catherine Masaschi of St. Joseph’s was runner-up in 19:34.
* Wade Hampton, led by Logan White’s third-place finish (16:20), won the boys race with 54 points. Riverside was second with 71.
Quattlebaum, ranked second in the state, won with a time of 15:39. Micah Williams of Greer Middle College was second in 16:20.