The Heritage High School cross country teams both qualified for the Class AAAA State Championships early next month with top four finishes at the Region 6-AAAA Championships on Tuesday.
Racing on the difficult 5K (3.2-mile) course at Edwards Park in Dalton, the Heritage girls had to settle for the region runner-up trophy, while the Heritage boys slipped past LaFayette to claim the fourth and final state berth from the region.
The Northwest Whitfield Lady Bruins finished with 46 points to relegate Heritage (54) to second place. Pickens (67) and Gilmer (77) rounded out the top four. The rest of the field included Southeast Whitfield (125), LaFayette (181) and Ridgeland (205).
On the boys' side, Southeast claimed their first-ever team title with 40 points to hold off Pickens (41) by a single point. Gilmer (72) was a solid third, while Heritage (105) snuck in ahead of LaFayette (106). Northwest (175) and Ridgeland (185) rounded out the team standings.
In the girls' individual standings, Pickens grabbed the top two spots as Faith Bobak controlled the race from the outset, clocking in at 19:31. Her teammate, Sabrina Young (20:20) was second.
Three Heritage runners earned All-Region first team status with top 10 finishes - Allison Craft (21:34, fifth place), Alex Gass (22:11, eighth place) and Caylee Carpenter (22:13, ninth place). Lucy Hicks (22:55, 13th place) was All-Region second team.
Rounding out the Lady Generals' varsity lineup was Lilly Black (23:33), Finley Brisendine (24:41) and Skye Remko (24:48).
LaFayette was led by a 25:16 from Kaci Rogers and a 25:36 from Hannah Dearing. Also racing for the Lady Ramblers were Caitlyn Watson (28:05), Hope McClure (28:36), Sierra Jackson (28:41), Brianna Minor (29:58) and Sarai Parauhatsanon (30:02).
Macie Boren paced Ridgeland with a 24:19, followed by Katie Taylor (33:22), Cayla Coleman (33:58), Abbie Morgan (37:35) and Marina Mosgrove (38:44).
Pickens' Connor Moranos ran a 17:20 to edge out Southeast's Alex Carroll (17:21) and give the Dragons a sweep of the individual region titles.
Caleb Boyd was the only first team All-Region runner for the Generals as he placed sixth with a time of 17:58. Ryan Craft (18:34, 14th place) was a second-team honoree. Completing the Heritage varsity roster was Dakota Carter (18:45), Andrew Song (19:36), Joel Lewis (19:40), Jonathan Manion (19:46) and Zack Locke (19:52).
LaFayette got an 18:28 from All-Region first teamer Devin Henderson, while second teamer Josh Perea clocked in at 18:38. The rest of the lineup featured Matthew Newsom (18:47), Mason Burkett (19:12), Andrew Long (19:28), Trey Henderson (20:35) and William Sainthill (20:49).
Leading the way for Ridgeland was Coby Voyles (19:32), while Eliot Jones (19:58), Josiah Williams (20:07), Bode Tucker (20:22), Will Voyles (20:26), A.J. Walker (20:49) and Dakota Dehart (20:50) ran for the Panthers.
The State Championships will be held at Carrollton High School on Nov. 3 and 4.
Complete results can be found online at http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/289729/results#.We_8eaPr0aI