The Flowery Branch High girls and boys cross country teams qualified for state with first- and second-place finishes, respectively, at the Region 8-5A meet Thursday at Unicoi State Park in Helen.
Erika Plummer was one of five top-10 finishers for the Lady Falcons, and her time of 18:44.50 was more than a minute ahead of second place. Hannah Grainger (fourth), Sierra Wainer (seventh), Shannon Hoolahan (eighth) and Mariah Millsap (10th) all helped Flowery Branch blow by the competition.
The Falcons, who finished behind Clarke Central in the boys competition, also boasted the individual winner. Collin Kilgore completed the race in 16:18.70 for Flowery Branch, followed by teammates Kyle Gruss in sixth place and Kyle Boyd in ninth.
The Buford girls (third place) and boys (fourth place) also punched their ticket to the state meet. Sarah Davis (20:07.70) and Caroline Motini (20:10.60) came in fifth and sixth overall, respectively, for the Lady Wolves.
Johnson’s girls team made it to state as well with a fourth-place finish, led by Molly Hayes with a time of 21:29.80.
NORTH HALL CLINCHES STATE BERTH: The Lady Trojans took first place, while the Trojans boys finished second at the Region 7-3A meet Thursday at Unicoi State Park.
Devan Crow claimed first overall in the boys race for North Hall with a time of 15:47.90. Teammate Andrew Jones was close behind in third place, and Carter Robinson picked up a ninth-place finish for the Trojans.
North Hall accounted for half of the top 10 in the girls race — Caylee Wagner (third), Morgan Mize (sixth), Emily Britt (eighth), Hailey Nobles (ninth) and Georgina Hoffman (10th).
The Dawson County boys won first place behind fourth-place finisher Ben McGinnis and fifth-place Christopher Shelp. Cody Wood (sixth) and Nathan Blythe (10th) also boosted the Tigers’ score, with all four teammates finishing within 14 seconds of each other.
In the girls team standings, Dawson County was second and Lumpkin County was third, both good for state meet spots. The Lady Tigers’ Frankie Muldoon (19:11.90) finished first overall, and teammate Jenna Lecours provided a fourth-place finish.
Lumpkin County received solid times from Caroline Rairigh (fifth) and Kat Cunningham (seventh).
The state championship meet for all classifications is Nov. 3-4 at Carrollton High in Carrollton.