ROVER — A hot day with a welcome appearance of clouds and winds to cool things off for a time greeted the runners from seven schools who participated in the 22nd Community Invitational Cross Country Run Wednesday at Hootenanny Haven.
Runners from Cascade, Shelbyville Central, and host Community were among the Bedford County high schools that participated in the event.
Cascade claimed the individual top spots in both the girls' and boys' divisions while the Shelbyville Central boys took home top team honors on the boys' side.
With Dr. Jay Milam at the controls to produce the customary cannon blasts to start the races, the runners began their 5K run of two laps over the course owned by Community Vice Principal Dr. Keith Williams.
Cascade's Sophie Ray won the girls' division by 10 seconds with a time of 25:38.
Shelbyville's Lindy DeOsio finished fourth while Cascade's Ellie Chapa and Ella Thompson finished fifth and seventh respectively.
Community's Stevie Dickenson finished 11th.
Only two schools had the minimum five runners needed to qualify for the team competition.
Moore County took first place with Shelbyville finishing second.
Cascade's Steven Cope raced to a first-place win in the boys' division by a margin of over two minutes.
Cope finished with a time of 19:32.
Shelbyville's Cam Harvey finished second while Ivan Dreine of Cascade finished fourth.
Cascade's Chase Sutter finished sixth.
Jonathan Medal and Brandon Cruz of Shelbyville finished eighth and ninth respectively while Community's Jackson Harris just missed the top 10 and finished 11th.
Shelbyville claimed first place on the boys' side with 44 points.
Cascade was second with 52 points while Community finished third with 79 points.
Williams talked about the history of the Community Invitational.
"We started this thing in the 90s when Mike Edmondson was the basketball coach," Williams said.
"He wanted to keep his basketball boys in shape. So we knew cross country was a sport that was pretty economical to start."
"We started running the roads next to the old school and he asked me if I would lay out a course and we could have an invitational run," Williams added.
"We had it for 20 years and I rested for a couple of years and we resurrected it last year," Williams said.
The cannon blast from Milam to start the race is a fixture of the Community Invitational.
"Jay is my wife's sister's husband and he is a history buff," Williams said." He has that thing he fires off on the Fourth of July, New Year's, and races. He's been really good to bring his cannon down and that makes it a little more special."