Rome Middle School cross country

The Rome Middle School cross country team recently competed in the Georgia Middle School State Cross Country Championships in Cochran with the boys' team taking third overall in the large school championship division. / Contributed

Held at Bleckley County Elementary School on Oct. 13, the event had RMS teams placed in the large schools division, which included 5A, 6A, and 7A feeder schools in the two-mile run.

The boys’ varsity team ran well as a pack and took home the third-place team trophy after winning on a tiebreaker, while the girls’ varsity team came in 13th overall out of 28 teams.

Eighth-grader Tucker Wright led the boys’ team with a 13th place finish, coming in at 12 minutes and 6 seconds. Team captain Ryan Glass was next for Rome in 34th, followed by Josh Hernandez (40th), Amer Baker (51st) and Trace Harris (55th).

The Wolves were tied for third with Renfroe Middle School with 139 points, but Cai Sabino’s tie-breaking 72nd place finish clenched the trophy spot. John Glick rounded out the Varsity 7, placing 122nd. Gainesville Middle won the team title with 122 points.

“It’s heartbreaking to not win first place in the boys’ varsity race. And to be separated by such a narrow margin of only 17 points, you wonder what you as a coach could have done differently,” Rome head coach Amanda Malcom said.

“But, when faced with adversity, my kids gave me 100 percent of everything they had on the course, and that I cannot be disappointed with. The great thing is we have a very balanced team of seventh- and eighth-graders with a lot of depth. That is very encouraging as we prepare for next year.” 

In the girls’ race, eighth-grader Ashley Morales was the top finisher for the Lady Wolfpack, coming in at 14:03 for 26th overall. Emily Bartleson was next for Rome, coming in 45th, followed by Sophie Clowdus (116th) and Shakira Funez (131st).

Yesenia Reyes, Asma Odeh, and Roxanna Cano rounded out Rome’s top seven.