Eleven months ago, Sid Vaughn underwent yet another surgery on a tumor that was wrapped around his Achilles' tendon.
"I had to have three surgeries on it because it kept coming back," he said. "It's been going on for years, but it's finally cured."
Saturday morning at Blanchard Woods Park, Vaughn proved emphatically that he's back. He obliterated the 5K course record of 17:11 with a time of 16:34 to win the ASU Jaguar Invitational.
"I just made it up all the hard hills and just felt good," the Lakeside junior said. "Once I hit that flat part of the course, I just held (that pace)."
In ideal running conditions, a pair of other runners also topped the previous course record.
Greenbrier junior Chris Wilder, who had held the record, was the runner-up in 16:58. Washington County's Rashaun Tanner was third in 17:06.
"I knew Sid was going to try to break 17:11, but I didn't think he was trying to do that," said Wilder, who will next race against Vaughn on Oct. 30 in the Region 2-AAAA meet in Statesboro, Ga.
Greenbrier took the boys title, finishing six points clear of Lakeside. Washington County was third.
Greenbrier and Lakeside weren't at full strength because Saturday was a testing date for the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The Wolfpack were without Rick Mersereau, while Shane Wilson and Rikin Shah on the boys' side and Katie Townsend on the girls side were out for the Panthers.
Lakeside was the runaway winner in the girls race. Providence Christian, of Lilburn, Ga., was second and Greenbrier third.
Lakeside senior Anna Bowles ran alongside her sister, sophomore Sarah Bowles, for most of the race before finishing just ahead of her.
They finished first and second in 20:31 and 20:35, respectively. Their teammate, Jasmine Payne, was third in 21:26.
"We've been racing a lot lately, so I kind of just wanted to not go as hard as I normally do," said Anna Bowles, the reigning Class AAAA state champion.
Vaughn wasn't the only runner to set a course record. In the women's collegiate race, sophomore Holly Keeper set a new college 6K mark with a time of 24:03 to lead Augusta State to a team victory.
"We were actually doing the race as a tempo, so it was kind of a workout the first couple miles," Keeper said. "... I still had a lot of energy left because I was reserving it."
Augusta State also took first place in the 10K men's division.
Reach Justin Williams at (706) 868-1222, ext. 116, or firstname.lastname@example.org.