The Georgia Independent School Association Region 4-AAA cross country meet is starting to get a bit predictable.
For the 11th consecutive year, the Augusta Prep Lady Cavaliers won the region title while the boys brought home their second consecutive championship Saturday morning at Augusta Prep.
Both Augusta Prep teams topped Westminster; the boys winning by a 22-56 margin while the girls race was tighter, with the Lady Cavaliers holding off the Lady Wildcats, 31-39.
The wins finished off an outstanding fall season in the region for Augusta Prep, which won its region in volleyball and clinched first place in its division in football the night before.
Placing five runners in the top 10, the Lady Cavaliers were paced by the Holodak sisters; eighth-grader Jamie Holodak taking first place in 21:06 while senior Jodie Holodak (21:29) was third.
Jamie Holodak led virtually from start to finish, but didn’t let up at the end.
“I didn’t really have that much energy left, but this girl I saw behind me, so I just had to go, she was gaining on me,” said Jamie Holodak, who added she wouldn’t have expected to win the region when the year began.
Jodie Holodak was returning from an injury that sidelined her in previous weeks and was happy with the way it all turned out.
“It means a lot to win your senior year and hopefully we’ll do well at state and go out with a bang,” she said.
Head cross country coach Tom Holodak knew Westminster was going to be tough. He stressed that while it’s good to have two top finishers in the race, where you win is with your third- through fifth-place runners.
“Especially with the girls, we knew it was going to come back down to that,” he said.
Westminster kept it close, taking fourth through sixth place, but Lady Cavaliers’ Sydney Isaac (22:59), Mati Gibbs (23:02) and Gabrielle Turner (23:19) finished 8-9-10 to cement the win.
Individually, the boys contest looked much the same as the 2012 region race as Westminster’s Evan Downs (17:10) and Augusta Prep’s John Earwood (17:33) finished first and second, respectively, for the second-consecutive year.
Earwood was happy with the team’s success, but wishes he had done better individually.
“I didn’t do very well, today, it happens,” said Earwood. “He (Downs) sped up and I did not.”
For the Cavaliers, Mark Tisler (18:47) was third, Henry Burns (18:58) was fourth, Hamp Burnside (19:01) came in sixth and Connor Turner (19:01) took seventh.
“John’s our leader and then we need to have our next four or five runners all within 30 seconds if we want to have a chance to be in the top and we’ve been able to do that the last couple of weeks,” Holodak said.
The teams head to Loganville Christian Academy on Saturday for the GISA state meet to close out the season.
In the middle school meet, the Augusta Prep boys took the top spot while the girls finished second.
Nike/Fleet Feet Coach Wood Invitational 2013
Evans, Greenbrier and Lakeside went to Gainesville, Ga., on Saturday to participate in one last meet before the Nov. 2 region meet.
The Lakeside and Greenbrier boys teams competed in the 5K championship run, finishing 16th and 17th, respectively.
Christian Bowles led the Panthers, finishing eighth in 16:12.46. Greenbrier’s Logan Hughes (16:30.31) was the Wolfpack’s top finisher, coming in 13th. The Panthers’ Allan Clark (16:50.89) was 27th while Greenbrier’s Jon Townsend (17:13.35) was 55th.
In the girls championship race, Lakeside finished 16th, led by Alyssa Hooker (19:53.64) in 15th and Lara Way (20:42.11) in 46th.
Greenbrier came in 26th, with Laura Shillingsburg (21:25.35) in 89th place.
Evans ran in the varsity race, with the boys finishing 19th and the girls 24th.
Justin Weegar paced the Knights with a third-place finish in 16:53.03 while Felipe Alatorre (18:21.43) was 69th.
For the girls, Jasmine Stone (22:45.17) was 63rd and Jackie Ramos (23:50.03) finished 107th.