GHSA

Heritage junior Allison Craft was the top finisher from Region 6 in the girls' Class 4A state cross country championship race on Friday at Carrollton High School.

Craft's time of 21:03 was her second-fastest time of the season and gave her a 22nd place finish in the overall individual standings. As a team, the Lady Generals finished 19th in the field.

Mia Callahan clocked in at 24:18 for Heritage, followed by Alexis Faul (24:48), Allie Mifflin (25:28), Kalei Howard (25:53), Emma Tennyson (26:19) and Gracie McCoy (31:01).

Hannah Miniutti of Blessed Trinity clocked in at 18:51 to beat her teammate Kelly Ann Sutterfield by six seconds in the individual standings.

However, Blessed Trinity would come up short in the team standings to St. Pius X. The Golden Lions won the state title with 46 points by putting all seven of their runners in the top 25, while their top five runners all finished within the first 18 spots.

Blessed Trinity finished with 50 points, while its 1-2 finish gave them a four-point edge over third-place Marist (54). All 21 combined runners from the top three teams finished in the top 40 overall. Oconee County (81) placed fourth and White County (198) was a distant fifth.

Among the teams from Region 6, Southeast Whitfield was 12th, Pickens was 22nd and Gilmer was 24th.

On the boys' side, LaFayette's Devin Henderson, who qualified for state as an individual, clocked in at 18:41 to finish 74th overall.

The top finisher for Heritage was Gavin Chandler, who placed 84th in 18:59. The Generals, who qualified for state as a team, got a 19:24 from Luke Shackelford, a 19:43 from Davis Justice, a 20:26 from Jake Krajesky, a 20:34 from Collin Black and a 21:05 from Gauge Sartin.

In the team standings, St. Pius X made it a sweep with 49 points as they put all seven of their runners in the top 22 and put their top five runners in the top 14. Denmark (101), Oconee County (148), Chestatee (163) and Blessed Trinity (168) rounded out the top five.

Among the team from Region 6, Pickens was 10th, Southeast Whitfield was 19th, Heritage was 22nd and Gilmer was 23rd.

Justin Wachtel of Mary Persons was the individual winner as he crossed the line in 16:05. Luke Gaddis of Chestatee 16:41 was the state runner-up.

The Ringgold boys will run in the Class 3A state meet on Saturday as will both the Gordon Lee boys' and girls' teams. Gordon Lee senior Gracie O'Neal will be going for her third consecutive Class 1A Public School state title in her final GHSA cross country race.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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