Leesville, Avoyelles Charter teams take 2019 John C. Miller Sr. Cross Country Meet

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - It has been one of the longest-running events in Central Louisiana.

Cross country runners from across Louisiana gathered Wednesday at the Buhlow Lake Recreation Area for the 26th Annual John C. Miller, Sr. Cross Country Meet. | Photo Credit: KALB

For 26 years, they have been running the John C. Miller, Sr. Cross Country Meet out at Lake Buhlow. Dozens of teams and hundreds of runners from across Louisiana gathered to participate, all to honor the man who has left an indelible mark on the legacy of cross country and track and field in Rapides Parish.

In Wednesday's meet, the Leesville boys team took first place, led by the first-place finishing Justin Cannata. For the girls, Avoyelles Charter was led by a fourth-place finish by Rylie Balius and a fifth-place finish from Lakyn Carmouche to bring home the team title. Tioga's Kaitlyn Brown was the first place individual winner.

"I think they had a great race, and it's great for cross country to be able to have everyone out here to run," Cannata said. "The run was exhausting. There was a boy out here from Grace Christian (Cade Footer), too fast, and I just tried to stay with him. That's the thing about cross country, stay with the guy right in front of you, because they are always going to be right there. Until you pass them."

"I thought the rain was going to stop everything, but it was really easy for me this time," Brown said. "I also play basketball, so while I'm running cross country, I'm also practicing and getting ready for basketball, so I'm kind of juggling both right now."

Varsity Girls Results
1. Avoyelles Charter - 39
2. Buckeye - 62
3. Lacassine - 106
4. Sterlington - 176
5. Anacoco - 179

1. Kaitlyn Brown, Tioga
2. Katie Byrd, Sterlington
3. Jordan Campbell, Buckeye
4. Rylie Balius, Avoyelles Charter
5. Lakyn Carmouche, Avoyelles Charter

Varsity Boys Results
1. Leesville - 59
2. Grace Christian - 100
3. Pineville - 115
4. Buckeye - 157
5. Avoyelles Charter - 160

1. Justin Cannata, Leesville
2. Cade Footer, Grace Christian
3. Devante Jach, Jena
4. Mohammad Haddabeh, Avoyelles Charter
5. Conner Thomas, Pineville

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