The Flowery Branch boys cross country team won its first Region 8-AAAA championship with 19 points Thursday at the Conyers International Horse Park.
Winners of the past two Class AAA state championships, the Falcons took the top three spots Thursday. Maurice Riden took first place with a time of 16 minutes and 50.89 seconds. Second place went to Kenny Slavik (17:03.22) and third place went to Drew Garland (17:06.37).
All seven runners for the Falcons placed in the top ten. Habersham Central placed fourth in the meet with 87 points. The Raiders were led by Brian Elder’s 11th best time of 17:51.14 and John Gagnon’s 13th best time of 18:15.13.
In the girls race, the Lady Falcons placed third to qualify for the state championships. Flowery Branch put two runners in the top ten: Megan Kirk placed seventh with a time of 21:43.20 and Brittany Wells placed 10th with a time of 22:03.14.
“We did awesome,” said Flowery Branch coach Jimmy Sorrells. “It was really exciting for us to do that well in our first region championship since moving up to Class AAAA.”
Winder-Barrow was the girl’s region championship with 29 points after Amanda Cope took first place with a time of 20:00.5 and Anna Dead took third with a time of 21:15.59. Amber White of Cedar Shoals placed second with a time of 20:57.65.
The Habersham Central girls placed just outside of state qualification, finishing in fifth place with 140 points. Kaite Bohannon was the highest finisher for the Lady Raiders, coming in at 22:14.16 in 11th place.
The Falcons will race in the state championships at 1 p.m. and the Lady Falcons at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at Carrollton High.
JACKSON COUNTY GIRLS TAKE REGION TITLE: The Lady Panthers put three runners in the top-ten on their way to netting 61 points and winning the Region 8-AA girl’s cross-country championship Thursday at Crow’s Lake in Jefferson.
Brittany Aikens finished second with a time of 20 minutes, 37.30 seconds, Rachel Pasko placed fourth (21:35.65) and Sydney Baird placed ninth (22:29.47) for Jackson County.
The Jefferson girls placed second in the meet with 74 points. Reese Bowles finished seventh overall (22:19.61), Cara Smith placed eighth (22:26.67) and Alison Missler rounded out the top-ten in 10th position (22:34.30) for the Lady Dragons.
Madalyn Waters took first overall in the meet with a time of 20:23.45 to lead Dawson County to a third place finish with 91 points. Carly Gilreath was the second highest Lady Tigers’ runner, finishing 15th with a time of 23:13.43.
East Jackson finished in fourth place in the meet with 92 points and was led by a third place finish from Sherri Blaylock (21:20.05).
The top-four finishers qualified for the state championship race, which is at 3 p.m. Nov. 6 at Carrollton High.
DAWSON COUNTY BOYS PLACE SECOND AT REGION: Led by a 10th place finish from John Erickson (18:23.56) the Tigers finished in second place with 105 points in the Region 8-AA meet held Thursday at Crow’s Lake in Jefferson.
Preston Adams was the second highest finisher for the Tigers, placing 14th with a time of 18:53.87.
Union County took third in the meet with 118 points. The Panthers were led by a seventh place finish from Daniel Payne (18:12.42) and a 19th place finish from Tucker Belton (19:09.73).
North Oconee won the region championship with 52 points and was led by the overall winner, Tripp Hurt, with a time of 17:35.03.
Elbert County rounded out the top four after a second place finish from Ethan Alexander (17:37.67).
Josh Wheeler of Olgethorpe County placed third overall with a time of 17:49.01.
Other area schools competing were Banks County (fifth place, 147 points), Jefferson (seventh place, 182 points), East Hall (11th place, 238 points) and Jackson County (12th place, 302 points).
The boy’s Class AA state championship race will be at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at Carrollton High.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY BOYS QUALIFY FOR STATE: Led by a 10th place finish from Dustin Snyder (18:41) and a 17th place finish from Kyle Lewis (19:30), the Lions placed fourth with 107 points at the Region 8-A championships Thursday at Athens Academy.
Athens Christian won the region title with 21 points after sweeping the top three spots. Joshua Jenkins (16:33), Josiah Jenkins (17:09) and Will Hayes (17:24) took first, second and third.
George Walton Academy took second overall with 67 points and Athens Academy finished in third with 73 points.
Other area schools running at the meet included Riverside Military Academy (sixth place, 159 points), Towns County (seventh place, 191 points) and Commerce (ninth place, 277 points.)
The Class A boy’s state championship race will be held at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at Carrollton High.
TOWNS COUNTY GIRLS PLACE THIRD: The Lady Indians were led by a sixth place finish from Ansley Vardeman (22:19) and a 15th place finish from Caitlin Sheffield (23:52) on their way to scoring 85 points and tying George Walton Academy for third place in the Region 8-A girl’s cross country championships held Thursday at Athens Academy.
Athens Christian won the overall meet with 20 points after Destiny Jenkins (20:18) and Taylor Noggle (20:51) swept the top two spots. Sara Wetzstein placed third with a time of 22:01 to lead Athens Academy to a second place finish with 49 points.
The Class A girl’s state championship race will be held at 9 a.m. Nov. 6 at Carrollton High.