The Flowery Branch boys cross country team added another region championship to its resume on Saturday, winning the Region 8-AAAA competition at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Ga.
The team placed five of its runners in the top 10, including Drew Garland who won the individual championship.
The next highest finishers for the Falcons were Luis Teran, who finished in fourth, and Taylor Fiorello, taking fifth.
Nick Ashmead, Austin Webber and Cody Papp were also top-10 finishers.
“The biggest thing to take away is that the gap between first and fifth place was very narrow,” coach Jimmy Sorrells said. “We ran as a pack. It’s something we’ve been working on throughout the year — narrowing the gap without losing time on our runners.”
The varsity girls squad took second place at the meet behind Winder-Barrow. It also placed five girls in the top 10 (Kayla Robles, Lauren Kirk, Brittany Wells, Cassie Ward and Megan Kirk).
“It was a battle,” Sorrells said. “We made it close, but we couldn’t quite catch (Winder-Barrow).”
Sorrells also noted the finishes of both junior varsity squads, which has given his program something to look forward to.
Both won their respective championships. The junior varsity boys took the top seven spots in the race, while the girls took second through sixth.
Both varsity teams have qualified for the state championships, which will be held at Carrollton Elementary in Carrollton on Saturday. The boys will race at 2:30 p.m.; girls will start at 3 p.m.
Sorrells, who is from Carrollton, said that he always looks forward to having his teams compete near his home.
“It gives me some extra motivation,” he said.
He added that his team is prepared, and just needs to focus on running its race when the time comes on Saturday.
“All our work is already done,” Sorrells said of the teams’ preparation for the state championships. “Right now, we just want to stay healthy, stay sharp and get ready to run on Saturday.”