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BA Cross Country takes off in big way

Brookhaven Academy Cross Country head coach Chris Fortenberry is always busy.

With seven children, it’s hard for Fortenberry to keep up with everything that goes on around her.

As a woman of family and health, Fortenberry wanted to help the Brookhaven Academy community by finding a way to keep the students healthy and encourage exercising on a daily basis.

The idea soon came to her to form a Cross Country team for the Cougar family.

“We formed this team aspiring to keep the young exercising and it has really taken off,” Fortenberry said. “Cross Country is a great sport for both the individual and the team to compete and build endurance in addition to working on one’s pace.”

Time commitment and student participation were the two main concerns for Fortenberry when forming the team.

Brookhaven Academy Head of School Jason Case was the main supporter of the program. With the help of Case and parents in the Brookhaven Academy community, the cross country team took off in a hurry.

The team started within the past couple of weeks, getting off to a late start in the school year. The team is made up of 16 runners with the majority of the athletes coming from the junior high school.

“We started late in the season after school had already begun because honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could commit to the time requirement,” Fortenberry said. “With lots of support from Jason Case and other parents, we formed the Cross Country team at BA.”

The team first competed in the Loyd Star Invitational cross country meet and the runners enjoyed the great experience of competing against all the local schools.

The team placed third in the junior high girls’ division and fourth in the junior high boys’ division.

Trevor Fortenberry placed 12th in the junior high boys’ two-mile run, Rayce Stewart placed 18th, Carter Watson placed 20th, Parker Moak placed 28th, Andrew Estess placed 35th and Dru McDaniel placed 36th.

Karci Case placed fifth in the junior high girls’ two-mile run, Kate LeBlanc placed sixth, Amelia Anding placed 18th, Sara Rogers Smith placed 19th, Ava Rutter placed 26th, Anna Beth Chalk placed 27th and Livi Baker placed 28th.

“What a great experience that was,” Fortenberry said. “Although we have a long way to go, I am certainly proud of these kids.”

The Brookhaven Academy Cross Country team plans to compete in three more meets this season to gain experience and help the athletes continue to exercise and develop healthy habits.

This is just the beginning for the program as the cross country program is here to stay for the Cougars.

“Our hope is to continue to build this program in numbers and speed,” Fortenberry said. “After the offseason, we plan to start training again in May for the next season.”