LaGrange, Troup compete in state meet
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Having conquered the region, the LaGrange High boys’ cross-country teams will take aim at the state on Friday in Carrollton.
The top Class AAAA runners in Georgia will get together in Carrollton for the state cross-country meet, with the boys’ race beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Troup’s boys’ team, which finished third in Region 2-AAAA behind LaGrange and Columbus, will also compete in the state meet.
LaGrange’s girls’ team, the runner-up in Region 2-AAAA, will participate in the Class AAAA state meet on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
The Grangers dominated the competition at the region meet, capturing five of the top seven spots to easily claim the team championship.
Leading the way were twin brothers Nathan Fritchley and Aaron Fritchley, who finished first and second, respectively.
Nathan Fritchley crossed the finish line in the 3.1-mile race in a time of 18 minutes seven seconds, while Aaron Fritchley (18:26) was close behind in second.
For the seniors on the team, including the Fritchleys, Friday will be the final time they compete together as cross-country teammates.
The other seniors are Terry Franklin, Will Allred and Julian Santiago, and Bo Beall and Javon Harris are underclassmen.
“It’s a special race,” Nathan Fritchley said. “For the majority of the team we’re seniors, so it’s our last one. We’re all excited. It’s the last one, and it’s the big one.”
While the competition will be stout, the goal is to be the team on the top of the podium when the awards are presented.
“We’d love to go out with a win,” Aaron Fritchley said.
Each team will have seven competitors in the state meet, and the top five times count toward the team total.
At the region meet, Franklin (18:36), Beall (18:41) and Allred (18:50) finished fifth through seventh, respectively.
Santiago (19:49) was 15th, and Harris (20:31) placed 22nd.
Troup’s boys’ team, meanwhile, earned its spot at state with a strong showing in the region meet.
Of Troup’s seven runners at the region meet, five of them are seniors, and they’ll get an opportunity to run at state for the first time.
Troup’s top runner at region was sophomore Clay Webb (19:01), who finished eighth.
Troup’s next four finishers were all seniors, including Christian Gay (20:03) and Tyler Cardwell (20:08), who were 15th and 16th, respectively.
Lawson Lynd (22:10) was 30th, and Carson Cruse (22:37) was 36th to round out Troup’s top five.
Sophomore Kefa Jerome (24:19) was 37th, and senior Josh Tunnell (24:27) placed 38th.
LaGrange’s girls’ team is led by twin sisters Zamya Rhaney and Zenay Rhaney, who earned the top two spots at the region meet.
Zamya Rhaney finished first with a time of 21:51, while Zenay Rhaney (21:56) was five seconds behind in second.
Sophomore Tatum Fritchley (23:36) was third at the region meet, and the other runners were Alyssa Rhaney (24:08), junior Ivorie Smith (25:22), junior Delfina Martinez (26:02) and senior Chloe Morman (28:36).
Zamya Rhaney is looking forward to Friday’s competition, which will be held on a challenging course in Carrollton.
“It’s a hard course,” Rhaney said. “But I do enjoy that race. It hurt me that we didn’t run it during a regular-season race. Now that we get to run it as our last official race, it’s really exciting.”