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Westminster boys win state cross country title
by Greg Oshust
November 13, 2012 04:53 PM | 2512 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Westminster continued its dominance of Class AA boys cross country with yet another championship at the GHSA state meet Saturday in Carrollton.

With 39 points, the Wildcats edged out Region 6AA rival Wesleyan (47) to win their sixth consecutive state crown. They have won the AA championship four years in a row and captured the AAA crown in 2007.

Jordan Flowers led the way for Westminster with a fourth-place individual finish and a time of 17 minutes, 49.90 seconds.

Also earning top-10 individual places for the Wildcats were Graham Huff, who finished seventh at 17:56.35 and eighth-place Harry O’Connor (17:59.19).

“Like everyone else [Saturday], I wish we could have run faster times,” Westminster boys coach Joe Tribble said. “But, what has often been said about being able to rise to the challenge of the moment — doing what you have to do — well, I believe they did that. Again, we are thankful for it. They had to race man to man and were able to do just that. All credit to a magnificent seven in my book. They never gave up all season, even when the chips were way down.”

Meanwhile, the Westminster girls saw their AA state title streak come to an end at three as the Lady Wildcats scored 41 points to place runner-up behind champion Wesleyan (31).

Westminster also lost its hold on the AA individual crown as three-time defending individual title holder Sahara Fletcher dropped out halfway through the race due to illness.

Nevertheless, the Lady Wildcats placed four runners in the top 10 — with Charlotte Folinus (20:38.25) finishing fourth, Kay Crawford (20:51.36) sixth, Kate Van Der Eerden (21:00.39) ninth and Sara McGahan (21:08.32) 10th.

“The team pulled together and raced well,” Westminster girls coach Amy Eubanks said. “We were pushed by a talented and well-coached Wesleyan squad, bringing out the best in our girls.”

Lovett also earned spots on the awards podium with third- and fourth-placed finishes in the AA girls’ and boys’ races respectively.

Hailey Branch (22:16.02) led the Lovett girls with an 18th-place finish, while Jack O’Neal was the top finisher for the Lions’ boys with a 25th-place showing.

In Class AAAAA, Connor McDaniel — the lone boys’ runner for Riverwood — finished 12th with a time of 17:20.98.

North Atlanta and Riverwood placed 20th and 21st, respectively, in the AAAAA girls’ race.

Abagail Shields (22:28.59) led North Atlanta with an 81st-place finish, while Anna Walker (22:39.25) was the top Riverwood girl in 83rd place.

Marist swept the AAAA boys’ and girls’ team and individual titles. Michael Thurston (16:12.72) won the boys’ crown and Morgan Ilse (19:16.48) was the girls’ winner.

Likewise, St. Pius X won the boys’ and girls’ championships in AAA. Austin Sprague (16:26.69) won the boys’ individual title, while Devon Dabney (20:21.39) placed second in the girls’ race.

Woodward finished second in the AAA boys’ standings and fourth among the girls, while Blessed Trinity was second in the girls’ race and fourth among the boys.

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