LaGrange races to title
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They brought home the trophy.
The LaGrange High boys’ cross-country team, led by Alex Bowie’s second-place finish, took the top spot in the Class A to Class AAAA division of the Asics Invitational in Douglasville on Saturday.
“It was a good race, but we still feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Troup head coach Chase Wilson said. “It was good to finally win one. It boosted some morale going into these big races we’ve got coming up.”
It was also a successful day for LaGrange’s girls’ team, which was third, with Zamya Rhaney leading the team with her 15th-place finish.
In the boys’ race, Bowie found himself in a head-to-head showdown with Elijah McCauley of Paideia.
McCauley took the top spot with a time of 16 minutes, 55 seconds, and Bowie was close behind in 17:04.
“He wanted to break 17 minutes, but 17:05 wasn’t bad,” Wilson said. “(McCauley) had a pretty good lead after the first mile, but come the second mile, Alex got with him. Those last 400 meters, he separated from Alex. But we were good with his time. He was disappointed, but he always things he can do a little better.”
Next for LaGrange was Miller Penn (17:32) in seventh place, and Matthew Callaway (17:54) and John McDonald (18:23) were 13th and 20th, respectively.
Nathan Fritchley (18:42) was 31st, and Alex Martin (18:56) placed 42nd.
LaGrange’s other runners were Aaron Fritchley (19:27), and Terry Franklin (19:35).
“It’s a good morale boost,” Wilson said of winning a race. “We’re trying to get more out of those fourth and fifth runners. That’s going to be what really makes a difference for us. That’s what made a difference for us last year in that region meet which we won. It’s going to come down to those guys again, so we’re going to have to have somebody really step up and fill that role.”
In the girls’ race, Rhaney’s time of 22:23 was good enough for 13th-place, and Anna Doerr (22:45) was 23rd.
Ivory Smith (23:12) was 31st while posting a personal-best time, Zanay Rhaney (23:35) was 39th, and Chloe Morman (24:36) was 54th.
LaGrange will be at Pyne Road park on Thursday for the county championship, and next up will be the region meet followed by the state meet in Carrollton.
“We’ll focus on the county meet, and then after that we’ll have one week of doing some last-minute work of getting ready for region,” Wilson said. “And then region week that’ll probably be a pretty easy week for us leading up to the race.”
The LaGrange and Troup cross-country teams both competed in the Rock Ranch Invitational on Sept. 29.
As has been the case throughout the season, Christian Gay led the Tigers, finishing the race with a time of 20:15.
Next for Troup were Lawson Lynd (21:01), Wesley Bartlett (21:58), Trey Ketchum (22:51), Zach Taylor (22:56), Cade Parnell (23:00), Tyler Cardwell (26:21) and Issac Andrews (30:46).
For the Troup girls’ team, Charley Harry (24:15) was the top finisher, and she was followed by Natalie Figiel (25:16) and Anna Barintine (45:57).
For LaGrange, Bowie earned a 13th-place finish with his time of (17:37), and Miller Penn (18:13) was 28th.
McDonald (18:47), Callaway (18:50), Nathan Fritchley (18:56), Martin (19:18) and Franklin (19:35) also ran for the Grangers.
Zamya Rhaney (23:12) was the top finisher for the LaGrange girls’ team in 36th place, and she was followed by Doerr (23:52), Smith (24:10), Zanay Rhaney (24:29) and Morman (24:52).
Callaway High’s cross-country team participated in the Spencer Invitational on Sept. 22 in Columbus.
Calik Kemp (18:35) earned a 12th-place finish, and Ian Dougherty (19:45), Michael Everett (20:04), Jackwon Nunley (25:39), Hunter Lee (28:07) and John Paul Royster (35:21) also competed for the Cavaliers.
In the girls’ race, Shali Hackley (28:08) and Emily Rowlett (29:06) were 24th and 25th, respectively, for Callaway.
Vivian Streiff (30:13), Gabby Nixon (30:46) and Maddie Summers (30:47) were the other runners for Callaway.