With region tournaments firmly on the horizon, all three local cross country teams squared off in the Gordon County Cowbell Classic on Tuesday. Although all three schools posted numerous impressive individual performances, both Calhoun teams pulled ahead of the pack and left the Resaca Battlefield with wins.
The boys teams endured the course first, with the Yellow Jackets capturing a team victory due to five of its runners placing in the top-10 finishers to post a combined team score of 26.
Calhoun was paced by a second-placed finish by Felipe Barrios (18:38), a fourth-place finish by Jonathan Santana (18:50), a fifth-place finish from Julio Lopez (19:02) and a sixth-place finish for Brody Blalock (19:07).
“With both our teams we like to emphasize running in a pack, or what we like to call a swarm,” Calhoun head coach Justin Lindsey said. “I think our guys performed at a really high level, and we are focused on carrying that over to the region meet.”
It was also a very strong showing for the Sonoraville boys, with Nahum Trenti blazing past the other competitors for a first place finish and a time of 18:28. The Phoenix also enjoyed a third-place time from John Graves (18:42), the eighth fastest time from Spencer Ford at 18:37, a 14th-place finish from Ben Stewart (19:54) and a 15th-place contribution from Maurilio Segura (20:17).
Overall, the Sonoraville boys team combined to post a score of 41.
Gordon Central’s runners exited the course with a combined tally of 76. Joey Kowalczewski led the way for the Warriors with a time of 19:28 that was good for a seventh-place finish. The team also received positive contributions from Nelson Rodriguez (19:42, 11th), Alfredo Pegueros (19:47, 13th), Logan Swaim (20:36, 17th) and Dylan Ramsey (21:44, 28th).
The Calhoun girls also collected a team win with a total of 13. Mari Morales led the way for the Lady Jackets with a first-place finish and a blistering time of 22:36. Calhoun was also backed by solid performances from Adamariz Perez (23:05, second), Ashley Hartness (23:40, fourth) and Teresa Nguyen (24:32, sixth).
“I think our girls really stepped up this week,” Lindsey said. “We have seen big improvements over the past few days, and I know they are looking forward to next week. We also focus on that pack mentality with them, and I think they are executing it well.”
The Lady Warriors snagged a second-place finish with a team score of 41. Gordon Central was bolstered by LizBeth Alvarez (23:50, fifth), Ana Rodriguez (25:57, 11th), Nathania Cortes (26:06, 12th) and Jasmine Velasco (26:26, 13th).
The Sonoraville girls left the Resaca Battlefield with a team score of 68. The Lady Phoenix were paced by Riley Triplett, who snatched third place with a time of 23:24, and Maggie Hamilton, who took seventh with a time of 24:48.
Calhoun and Sonoraville will compete at the Region 6-AAA Meet at the Resaca Battlefield on Tuesday, and Gordon Central will be at Georgia Highlands to run in the Region 7-AA Meet on Tuesday.