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Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 11:52am

Marist Thrives at Mercy Invitational

Alexander High School hosted the annual Bob Blastow Early Bird last Saturday and the Lakeside-Evans boys put on a show. All five Panther point-scorers finished in the Top 16 individually and all five ran faster than 16:30. Sid Vaughn of Lakeside took top honors in 15:34 as he paced the Panthers to a team victory. Teammates Chase Fowers and Nicholas MacDonald recorded times of 16:00 and 16:11, respectively.

Five girls posted times below the 19-minute mark at Alexander, topped by Pope’s Molly Schenck in 18:14. Lovett sophomore Hailey Branch raced to a second-place performance with a time of 18:38.

The Marist boys and girls opened their seasons over the weekend with wins at the Mercy Invitational, hosted by Our Lady of Mercy. On the boys side, the War Eagles scraped past Norcross by a close score of 36-44. Norcross had three runners cross the line before Marist’s third man, but depth at the fourth and fifth spots proved to be the difference for the War Eagles. Marist’s Michael Thurston finished second overall in 16:34 while Arman Rehman of Norcross was right behind in 16:37. Whitefield Academy’s Cameron Thornton won the race with a time of 16:25.

First Presbyterian star Grace Tinkey continued her blistering early-season form as she led the Vikings to a second-place showing behind Marist in the girls race. Tinkey, who blew away the field by more than a minute and a half at her home Viking Invitational a week earlier, won the Mercy Invitational in 17:55. Katherine Yost of Norcross was second in 19:38. Morgan Ilse paced Marist to victory with a third-place time of 20:10.

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