If Greenbrier High School runs out of places to hang championship banners, blame Kati Smallwood.
Smallwood's cross-country teams ran down two more Region 3-AAAA titles last week at the Brierpatch, which upped the title total to 13 since the school opened in 1996.
Greenbrier athletic teams have their championship seasons commemorated by banners in the school gym, and it seems the Wolfpack and Lady Pack runners are intent on dominating the decor.
And why not? The Greenbrier squads already dominate their opponents.
The Greenbrier girls won a seventh title in seven tries, coasting past runner-up Burke County 61-49 in Thursday's race. Leading the way were Addison Price (second place, 22:13), Kaycee Quarles (third, 22:30) and Whitney Wise (seventh, 24:05).
Other Greenbrier finishers were Heather Limper (17th, 25:48), Jessica Lerer (20th, 26:25), and Louisa Hacker (22nd, 26:50). Margaret Ansley suffered an asthma attack and did not finish.
Although the Lady Pack won as a team, Lakeside freshmen Bailey Mahoney stole some of the thunder, taking the individual region title while posting a course-record time of 20:17.
"Near the end there's this big hill, and it's a killer. I had to push myself hard," said Mahoney, who came in nearly two minutes ahead of anyone else, and cruised the 3.1 miles so quickly that she lapped another runner.
"I always think there's somebody behind me, and that pushes me."
While Mahoney is Columbia County's new freshmen sensation, Miguel Mota has been there, done that.
Last week the Greenbrier sophomore defended his individual region crown, and his time of 17:06 sparked the Pack past Statesboro by a convincing 64-26 margin in the boys race.
"The funny part is, we weren't supposed to be as good as we are because we lost so many good guys from last year," Mota said. "Then we came out with this young team and just destroy everything. It's just amazing."
Greenbrier took the top three spots, as Tyler Warren (17:13) and David Zampini (18:13) followed Mota across the finish line. The other Pack finishers - Boston Blake, Jeff Tinsley, Tyler Hayden, and Josh Inouye - all cracked the top 18.
"This is probably one of the best boys teams we've had here," Smallwodd said. "If we run well, I know we can be in the top 10 at state."
The Lakeside boys finished third in the region meet, and were led by Connor Mahoney and Taylor Rigot, who each placed in the top 10.
With the strong showings at region, the Greenbrier teams, and Lakeside's Bailey Mahoney, all earned spots in the Class AAAA cross country championships in Carrollton on Nov. 9.
Harlem High School's Kris Neal also qualified for the state championships, thanks to a fifth-place finish in the Region 3-AAA meet last week.
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