Against some of the toughest competition the state has to offer, Rome High’s cross country teams both found success on Thursday.
The boys’ team claimed its third straight Region 7-5A championship, finishing ahead of Carrollton and host Woodland, respectively, while the girls finished second behind the perennial power host Lady Wildcats.
“I’m very happy with the results,” Rome High coach Luis Goya said. “It’s an amazing feeling. Our runners believed in their objective and our goals, and they were fantastic. Some of them set personal records and some went beyond what they expected to. We’re having an incredible time.”
The Wolves, who finished with 42 points, had three runners place in the top 10 and were led by Patrick Motes with a second-place time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds.
Trace Harris and Ryan Glass finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively, with neck-and-neck finishes of 17:17.04 and 17:17.58.
The girls finished with 48 points, 16 points behind Woodland. Goya said coming that close to Woodland is a good indicator of the improvement the Lady Wolves have made over the years.
“We knew we were going to end up among the best in the region,” Goya said. “The girls were close. I was impressed. Every year we’re getting closer and closer to Woodland. We have never gotten this close.”
The girls had three runners in the top 10 and were paced by Nora Bailey, who finished in fourth with a time of 20:36. Ashley Morales followed in fifth at 20:51, and Kaitlyn Stahl took seventh with a time of 21:17.
Goya said the finishes in region has him looking forward to what his teams will accomplish at state.
The GHSA State Cross Country Championships will take place next week in Carrollton with the Class 5A races happening Nov. 1. The boys race starts at noon and the girls are scheduled to run at 12:45 p.m.
“I can’t wait to see the way we perform at state,” Goya said. “It makes me happy to see how we have improved over the last four years. I have high expectations. I’m pretty sure we’ll come back with good results.”