The Augusta Prep Cavaliers put their home-course advantage to good use Saturday at the Georgia Independent School Association Region 4-AAA Cross Country Meet.
The Cavaliers dominated both the boys and girls divisions, walking away with two first place finishes.
The boys topped Westminster 22 to 48 while the girls beat Westminster 30 to 43.
The team will compete next at the GISA State Meet on Saturday at Darton College in Albany, Ga.
The boys’ competition played out the way Augusta Prep head coach Tom Holodak and his squad wanted as they were trying to reclaim the region title Westminster won in 2011.
“Right from the beginning of the season, our goal was to take back the region championship and be focused toward the state meet,” said Holodak. “We want to see if we can at least put a little scare into them at all. There are a number of other very good teams, but that was our goal right from the very beginning.”
With the top seven runners in each field making all-region, Augusta Prep placed five on the team, led by John Earwood who finished second in 18:04.
Joining Earwood on the all-region team were Michael Lopez (3rd-18:18), Eric Brown (4th-18:43), Mark Tisler (6th-19:10) and Henry Burns (7th-19:43).
In the girls’ race, Lady Cavaliers Jamie Holodak (20:44) and Amanda Murphy (21:00) battled eventual winner Nina McCallie (Westminster), finishing second and third, respectively.
Murphy was neck-and-neck with McCallie until a problem came up on the last of three laps around the Augusta Prep campus.
“Her shoe came off and she stopped to put it back on and it hurt her,” said Holodak. “I’d rather it happen now, though, than at states.”
Despite battling injuries and illness, Holodak felt good about what his girls could accomplish.
“We kind of thought on paper that we could win today,” he said.
Also making the all-region squad was Gabrielle Turner, who finished seventh in 23:25.
Holodak was pleased with winning the meet, but effort was the main thing he was looking for.
“We just tell the kids go out there and do your best and that’s all we can expect from them,” he said.