BY CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Newnan’s boys cross-country team continued to impress in just its second outing of the season, placing sixth at Saturday’s annual Carrollton Orthopaedic Invitational.
The Cougars placed sixth overall out of 28 teams in the Championship division while getting an early opportunity to run the state championship course at Carrollton Elementary School.
Junior Beck James led finishers for Newnan’s boys, placing 22nd in 18:07, with all five scorers crossing under the 19-minute mark.
A second varsity boys lineup took ninth overall in the Class 6A-7A run, while the Lady Cougars finished 10th in the girls race.
Trinity Christian also competed in both Class 1A-3A events at Carrollton, while Northgate traveled to the annual Coach Benson Double Dip Invitational hosted by Marist.
The Vikings also took sixth while competing against 24 schools in the varsity boys run led by identical times of 17:57 from both Sam Wessells and William Stephens in 27th and 28th place, respectively.
Last week’s successes also included Heritage School’s trip to the Oak Mountain Invitational. Junior Sovi Wellons placed first among 26 girls runners at a meet that included at least 10 schools.
Wellons dominated the girls field at Oak Mountain, winning the event in 22:17.29, more than a minute faster than second-place finisher Anna Bartlett of host Oak Mountain.
Heritage’s boys also received top 10 finish from freshman Charles Wall in 23:09.
East Coweta, Newnan and Trinity will take part among 35 schools at the third annual Big Peach Mustang Stampede on Saturday at Allatoona Creek Park.
Recapping recent efforts
Carrollton Orthopaedic Invitational - Newnan, Trinity Christian
Championship Run: Beck James led another balanced effort from the Cougars, who once again used their depth to excel in a sixth-place finish.
In two meets so far, Newnan’s boys have had two different top finishers, with James leading Saturday’s group in 18:07 on the challenging state course. Senior Will Thomas again crossed second for the Cougars in 42nd at 18:31.
Bo Palmer, Russell Smith and Bryson Houston all followed each other in succession from 49th-51st place, respectively in 18:39, 18:40 and 18:41, while Caeden Greer finished 57th in 18:45.
Brookwood won the Championship Boys division with a score of 88, ahead of Parkview (110), Harrison (121) and Westminster (148). Milton rounded out the top five at 169, with Newnan earning a tiebreaker over Gainesville for sixth after both posted identical scores of 206.
Gray Frederick (19:38) also competed in the Championship division for Newnan.
Class 6A-7A boys: Junior Jace Jessup led the Cougars’ No. 2 team with a ninth-place effort in 18:42. Freshmen Joshua Ward (37th, 20:04) and Jack Palmer (57th, 20:56) scored along with juniors Finlay Warner (65th, 21:09) and Thad Allen (66th, 21:12).
Also competing were senior Donovan James (69th, 21:20) and junior Jack Barnett (71st, 21:28).
Class 1A-3A: Sophomore Adam Granade led Trinity Christian’s boys with a 17th-place effort individually in 19:42. Scorers also included sophomores Joshua Olson (23:27), Carter McCabe (24:35), Josiah Lenarz (26:16) and Riley Boyd (26:16).
JV Boys: Trinity Christian sophomore Michael Freeman posted the top time of any Lions runner by winning the event in 18:41, crossing 44 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher.
Class 6A-7A: Senior Sydney Hall and junior Grace Smith crossed side-by-side for Newnan in 36th and 37th, respective, with times of 24:20. Seniors Alyssa Brauchler (42nd, 24:29) and Rachel Woods (52nd, 25:05) also scored along with sophomore Natalie Brauchler (55th, 25:20).
Both Annie Johnston (60th, 25:57) and Ila Clare Whitlock (64th, 26:05) competed for Newnan’s girls.
Class 1A-3A: Senior Sami Bourque was the top finisher for Trinity’s girls while crossing 18th in 24:28.
Also competing for the Lady Lions were junior Faith Robertson (43th, 26:12) and sophomores Bailey West and Sarah Hurt.
Coach Benson Double Dip - Northgate
The Vikings, who opened the season with a No. 7 boys state-ranking in Class 6A, placed sixth coming off a fourth-place effort at the Battle of Atlanta to open the season at the annual Double Dip Invitational.
Host Marist won the event with a score of 64 to finish ahead of West Forsyth (79), South Forsyth (102), Norcross (102) and Dawson County (138).
Northgate’s effort of 205 held off Lakeside-DeKalb (231) and Grady (234).
Sam Wessells and William Stephens crossed together to lead the team, followed by Davis McIntire in 35th at 18:08. Senior Michael Nelson placed 46th in 18:23.
Both Ahmed Thomas (75th, 18:57) and Abdul Tabbaa (88th, 19:09) competed for the Vikings’ No. 5 scorer along with Billy Guilot (106th, 19:33).
Sophomore Mia Griswold was the top finisher for Northgate’s girls in 47th at 22:44, with junior Sarah Brummett also breaking the 23-minute mark while placing 53rd in 22:59.
Sophomore Hanna Wessells (79th, 24:10) helped pace the scoring for the Lady Vikings.
Claire Wathen (117th, 25:16) also scored while Dalia Gibson (137th, 25:57) and Meagan Ryan (14th, 26:26) both made pushes for the No. 5 scorer while on the course with teammate Natalie Cobb (149th, 27:02).
Oak Mountain Invitational - Heritage School
Sovi Wellons cruised to the girls victory for Heritage in 22:17 with Oak Mountain freshman Anna Bartlett more than a minute behind in 23:36.
Junior Catherine Williams also competed for the Lady Hawks, placing ninth overall.
Heritage’s boys were led by Charles Wall’s 10th place effort in 23:09. Freshman Andrew Tvrdik placed 22nd in 24:54 and senior Addy Williams was 36th in 28:29 for the Hawks. Worth Burkhart, Gray Burkhart and Sam Lewis competed for Heritage.