Columbia County teams showed that cross country is truly a team sport while dominating the 2013 Region 2-AAAAA Cross Country Championship at Jones County on Saturday.
As Evans High School junior Justin Weegar defended his 2012 region crown, crossing the line in 16:26.84, it took Greenbrier High School’s sixth runner to be the difference maker in the boys team race.
After the first five scoring runners for Greenbrier and Lakeside crossed the line, the teams were tied for first with 35 points. When Greenbrier’s Alex Stewart (18:30.47) finished No. 16, one spot ahead of the Panthers’ Brooks Lemmon (18:41.41), the Wolfpack took home the region crown.
The Evans boys (90) finished third; Grovetown (211) was seventh.
Lakeside girls swamped the field, finishing first with 21 points. Greenbrier (59) was second while Evans (115) finished fourth behind Jones County (72) and Grovetown (177) was seventh. Evans, Greenbrier and Lakeside will have both boys and girls teams competing in the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA State cross country meet at Carrollton, Ga. on Saturday afternoon.
County boys took 11 of the top 12 spots. Greenbrier took spots four through six in Logan Hughes (17:08), Jon Townsend (17:19.97) and John Chaknis (17:36.41). Spencer Bongiovi (17:53.66) was ninth and Laquentin Brown (18:07) was 11th.
For the Panthers, Christian Bowles (16:37.78) was second followed by Allan Clark (16:55.50) in third. Harrison Harper (17:46.06) was eighth, Mitchell Beck (18:01.03) was 10th and Bryce Ivery (18:13.22) was 12th.
The Lakeside girls took the top three spots led by new region champion, freshman Alyssa Hooker (20:30.47), followed by Lara Way (20:48.62) and Jasmine Payne (21:10.41). Hannah Marionneaux (21:29.66) was fifth and Grace Huber (22:25.53) finished 10th.
Lakeside head coach Jerry Meitin thought his girls would win and wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
“I was pleased to see them put out a good effort to make it happen,” he said.