Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:48

Richmond XC schedule features 5 meets, SAC championship

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Rising sophomores Rylie Bohman and Sheccid Heaton run at Hinson Lake during workouts earlier this month. Rising sophomores Rylie Bohman and Sheccid Heaton run at Hinson Lake during workouts earlier this month. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — One of the two Richmond Senior High School athletic programs to kick off the new sports calendar in November, the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams now have a schedule in place.

Jessica Covington, who is in her second year as the girls’ head coach and first as the boys’, has had her runners participating in voluntary workouts the last several weeks. 

With the announcement of the teams’ schedules on Monday, it’s beginning to feel more and more real that the start of cross country competition is right around the corner.

Richmond’s runners will compete in five regular-season meets, all of which will have four Sandhills Athletic Conference schools in attendance. A second meet at a different location will see the four other SAC schools run on the same day.

The regular season will begin on Nov. 18 and run the first five meets in consecutive weeks through Dec. 9, and the final conference tournament meet will be held on Jan. 6.

“I am just glad we are able to run and have any meets with the circumstances,” Covington said.  “We are going to have to start meet times at 2 p.m. to allow enough heats to go before it gets dark.  

“We are also having to take out our last meet that was scheduled on Jan. 6 and having our conference tournament then.”

Per the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s newly released guidelines for “individual sports”, which cross country is classified as, meets that have four teams competing can only have 28 total runners compete.

The limited number, Covington said, may work in Richmond’s advantage this season.

“We are having only seven runners allowed per team on a line per heat,” she explained. “I think this will give us an advantage compared to last year because some of the teams have so many more runners than we do.  

“Now we are practicing three times per week,” she added of her male and female runners improving their times.

Richmond will open its season at Purnell Swett High School’s course on Nov. 18, and also compete against Scotland and Seventy-First high schools. The second meet will be hosted by Lumberton High School on Nov. 26, with Richmond, Seventy-First and Pinecrest High School contending.

Nov. 30 will serve as Richmond’s lone home meet of the season at Hinson Lake in Rockingham. The Raiders and Lady Raiders will try and defend their home course against Lumberton, Purnell Swett and Jack Britt High School.

The past couple of seasons, Richmond has used the loop around Hinson Lake to create the 3.2-mile race. But Covington said the team wanted to create more of a challenge to opposing runners, so the course is branching out this fall.

Richmond will incorporate some of the trails on the back side of the course, which have more inclines and are more rigorous to run.

“We are planning on altering our course by allowing some more hills,” Covington said. “There is always an advantage to knowing your home course and practicing points where you can make gains over the other runners.  

“We are going to hit those spots and work hard on knowing exactly where each runner should be on the course to run their best time.”   

The Raiders and Lady Raiders will close out their season with road meets at Seventy-First (Dec. 2) and Jack Britt (Dec. 9). 

 

Per Covington, the SAC conference tournament will be held on Jan. 6 in two locations, seeing Richmond run at Pinecrest against Jack Britt and Purnell Swett.


Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_