The New Covenant Lady Cavaliers recently traveled to Fort Mill to take part in the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools (SCACS) State Cross County Meet. It was a perfect afternoon for a 5K race as there were clear skies and cool temperatures. The weather, however, did not prevent the Lady Cavs from heating up the course.
The race started quickly with the top runners jostling for position early as the course was a narrow trail through the woods. Moving directly to the front for New Covenant was 6th grade sensation Layla Wickiser. Layla joined the team this year having never run competitively. It did not take long before Coach Canney discovered he had a very talented runner. After the race, Canney said, “It is a difficult challenge when 6th graders join the team. I love having them, but I try not to overwhelm them because if they suffer they are going to quit. When Layla joined us she had never run 3 consecutive miles. But as a soccer player her base fitness was really good. She just kept improving and running faster every week.”
That was evident at the State Meet as she got herself in good position early and then held off a bevy of runners to finish 4th overall with a time of 23:42. “To finish 4th at the State Meet and break the school record multiple times, I am not sure what more you could ask for,” Canney commented afterwards. Layla’s top five finish lead the Lady Cavaliers to a 5th place finish overall as team.
“To place in the top three as a team, we when knew we would have to have a really special day. That did not come together, but I am not disappointed at all. This group of girls gave it everything they had this season,” said Coach Canney.
Those words were highlighted by two runners who battled injuries all season. First was Junior Anna Nelson who was running in her first meet of the season at the State Meet. Here is what Coach Canney had to say about her, “Anna was allowed a medical exemption because within the first three weeks of the season she suffered a stress fracture. But to her credit, she stayed with the team, came to practice and meets, and did what she could to stay fit. She came out today and ran a great race to really help the team.”
The other runner who battled injuries was Junior Leila Sconyers. “Leila was my most committed runner this year. She logged a lot of summer miles and improved immensely since last season. Sometimes it is hard for the body to adjust and injuries pop up. That was the case with Leila but she managed it really well all year and had herself ready to go today. Unfortunately she took a bad fall about midway through the race but in typical Leila fashion, she got up, ran on, and finished the race,” said Coach Canney.
Overall the Lady Cavs had a great State Meet with Layla finishing 4th, Anna in 23rd (26:18), Junior Caroline Lamb in 24th (26:30), Freshmen Wren Sconyers in 35th (27:40), Sophomore Macy McGahey in 39th (30:53), sixth grader Bella Jordan in 42nd (41:41), Senior Gracie Cutliff in 46th (32:55), Leila in 48th (32:55) and 6th grader Rylee Hawkins in 50th (35:43).
After the race, Coach Canney had these final words, “I am super proud of this group. They race a great race today and had a great season. We have only one senior, so this group really has the chance to be special next season. But for right now we really want to celebrate the blessing of this season.”
Congrats on a great running season Lady Cavs!