CONYERS - The local high school cross country teams got in their final tuneups Saturday with the region championships set for this weekend.
Heritage senior Shuaib Winters finished first in the Class AAAA boys race at the Last Chance Invitational on the state meet course in Carrollton with a time of 16 minutes, 14.09 seconds.
Winters held off Marist's David Connolly by 3.68 seconds to claim the victory. The two-time Region 8-AAAA individual champion also had a first-place finish two weeks ago at the Wesleyan Invitational.
The Heritage boys placed fifth out of 30 teams in their division. The Patriots' other top four times were recorded by Jake Hudson (17:46.30) in 33rd, Darius Calhoun (17:52.91) in 37th, Josh Munger (18:09.68) in 56th and Andrew Connors (18:11.76) in 60th.
The Salem boys placed 27th in the team standings with Mitch Purvis producing the best finish in 81st (18:33.18).
The Heritage girls placed 12th in the Class AAAA girls race. Megan Drish was the first Lady Patriot to cross the finish line, placing 42nd with a time of 22:13.93. Following Drish were Sarah Hayward (22:18.38) in 45th, Whitney Adkins (22:43.21) in 60th, Erin Tarr (22:56.89) in 74th and Aylssa Clingenpeel (23:50.80) in 116th.
The Salem girls participated in the meet, but the Lady Seminoles did not have enough runners to post a team score. Shannon Christian finished 44th with a time of 22:17.01, followed by Stacey Vinson in the 98th with a time of 23:33.40.
Alcovy and Rockdale competed in the Alcovy Last Chance Invitational on Saturday.
Rockdale's Aaron Bullock finished first for the Bulldogs in 14th place with a time of 21 minutes, 12 seconds. He was followed by Kari Logan (21:36) in 19th and Devon Silvey (23:01) in 30th. The Bulldogs finished fifth in the five-team race.
However, the Rockdale girls finished second in their race. The front-runner for the Lady Bulldogs was Emily Boyer in the fifth position with a time of 23:55. Lauren Coursey finished seventh with a time of 25:13, followed by Sofia Tuttle in eighth with a time of 26:08 and Lindsay Geise in 12th with a time of 26:44.
The Alcovy boys finished fourth on their home course. Colten Papke was the Tigers' front-runner, finishing 16th with a time of 21:33 seconds. Vince Bond placed 17th with a time of 21:34.
The Alcovy girls also finished fourth in their race. Regan Bowers was the first Lady Tiger to finish in fourth place with a 23:54. Feliecia King placed 20th with a time of 28:47.
The Region 8-AAAA cross country teams will be running this Saturday in the Region 8-AAAA Championship at the Georgia International Horse Park. The state meet will be held Nov. 10 in Carrollton.
Kristen Lofton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.