Extremely warm temperatures and very high humidity greeted prep runners in the first-ever meet of the newly-formed North Georgia Cross Country League (NGXCL) on Saturday morning at Heritage High School.
The league includes many teams from the northwest Georgia area with some participation from teams in metro-Chattanooga.
One of those Chattanooga-area schools boasted the girls' winner as Jane Eiselstein of GPS crossed the line in a time of 21:39. Heritage's Allison Craft fell on the backside of the course, but recovered to finish second in a time of 22:20, while Giselle Dominguez of Dalton was third (22:29).
The Lady Generals had five girls in the top 30. Lucy Hicks was sixth as she clocked in at 23:41. Kalei Howard (25:04) was 16th, Lilly Black (25:56) was 21st and Skye Remko (26:32) placed 26th.
Ridgeland's Macie Boren clocked in at 24:56 to place 15th overall, while teammate Mary Scott was 30th at 26:57. LaFayette's Hannah Dearing crossed the line at 26:18 to place 24th.
On the boys' side, Dalton's Lance Sotelo set the pace with a very impressive 16:55 in the heat. LFO standout Erik Martinez was second at 17:42, while Heritage freshman Gavin Chandler came home in 18:01 to place third.
Joel Lewis (18:55) was ninth for the Generals. Ryan Craft and Caleb Boyd (19:17) crossed nearly simultaneously for the Generals. Craft was awarded 13th position while Boyd took 14th. Justice Davis (20:16) was 29th and Will Waldrop (20:34) was 30th for the home team.
LaFayette put three runners in the top 30. Devin Henderson was sixth at 18:35, followed by Josh Perea (19:22) in 15th place and William Sainthill (19:43) in 20th position overall.
Josiah Williams (20:09) was 26th for Ridgeland.
In the day's very first race, Ringgold's Dau Dau made the pass in the final 15 yards to cross the line in 20:21 and take first place.
The next league race will be this Thursday at Edwards Park in Dalton.