LaGrange, Troup set for region meet
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’re ready to defend their title.
A year ago, the LaGrange Grangers surged to the championship at the Region 5-AAAA cross-country meet.
LaGrange’s boys’ team will try to make it two titles in a row when it travels to Clinton Farms in Douglasville for today’s Region 5-AAAA meet.
LaGrange’s girls’ team will also participate, as will the boys’ and girls’ teams from Troup.
First up will be the boys’ race at 4 p.m., followed by the girls’ race at 4:30 p.m.
The top four finishers in each race will qualify for the state meet in Carrollton.
Last year, with Alex Bowie leading the way with a fourth-place finish, LaGrange out-raced Chapel Hill for the region title.
Bowie, a junior, will pace the Grangers once again today as they try to make it back-to-back titles.
Bowie finished with a time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds last year to place fourth at region.
John McDonald, who finished seventh in the region meet a year ago, will also run today, as will Matthew Callaway, who was 13th a year ago.
Miller Penn was at LaGrange for his freshman season before spending his sophomore year at Upson-Lee.
Penn is back at LaGrange as a junior, and he has been one of the team’s best and most consistent runners this fall.
“He was by far (Upson-Lee’s) best runner,” LaGrange coach Chase Wilson said. “He didn’t have anybody to push him at all. Now that he’s here, he’s got Alex pushing him, and it’s helping him.”
Other top runners for LaGrange this season have been Alex Martin, Nathan Fritchley, Terry Franklin and Aaron Fritchley, who all had top-10 finishes at the county championship earlier this month.
LaGrange’s girls’ team’ finished third in the region meet last year to qualify for state.
Zamya Rhaney, who was 12th at last year’s region meet, returns for LaGrange.
Also back for LaGrange are Chloe Morman and Zanay Rhaney, who had top 15 finishes at last year’s region meet.
Another top runner for LaGrange is freshman Ivorie Smith, who won the county championship at Pyne Road Park.
Zamya Rhaney was second at the county meet, and she was followed across the finish line by teammates Anna Doerr, Lauren Farris, Morman and Zanay Rhaney.
Troup’s boys’ team, which was sixth at last year’s region meet, is led by Christian Gay, who has had a terrific junior season.
Other top runners for Troup are Cade Parnell, Wesley Bartlett, Zach Taylor, Trey Ketchum, Joseph Harrington and Tyler Cardwell.
Amanda McCartney, who had an eighth-place finish at the county meet, will pace Troup’s girls’ team along with Natalie Figiel, Charley Harry, Anna Barintine and Catherine Leveritt.
Harry and Figiel both had top-10 finishes at the Spencer Invitational earlier this season.