ATLANTA - The Newton boys cross country squad placed fourth overall during the Region 2-AAAAA meet Saturday at Lakewood Stadium, earning the right to advance to state next weekend in Carrollton.
The Rams recorded 96 points en route to their fifth consecutive bid to state.
"We met expectations," Newton coach Aaron Robinson said. "Our guys ran well and did what we had to do against tough competition. (This) is something we're all proud of, and we want to continue that tradition."
Greenbrier was the clear-cut winner, tallying 20 points overall. Six Greenbrier runners finished among the top 10. Taylor Snyder took top honors with a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds.
Union Grove finished second with 67 points to edge Luella (67) with the sixth-runner tiebreaker.
Newton's Raymond Menefee placed eighth overall with a mark of 18:13.
"I'm enjoying being around them," Robinson remarked of his boys squad. "It's a good team chemistry and I think we'll have a good shot at running well next week."
Dominic Destefano pulled a first for the Rams, finishing second among the team (16th overall) with a time of 18:51.
"He stepped up and ran good, and that was a big run for him," Robinson said.
Newton's Tyler Ransom finished with a mark of 19:07, while Bradley Johnston ended at 19:14.
Rounding out the top five for Newton was Jason Moffitt (20:05).
For the girls, Union Grove finished first with 47 points overall. Greenbrier took second with 49, followed by Luella (57). Redan ended fourth with 60 points.
Luella's Joy Diaz took first with a time of 20:41.
Meanwhile, the Lady Rams only brought two runners. And despite ranking among the top six after the first mile and a half, Newton speedster Ameryst Armstead fell behind after hitting the hills, finishing 31st overall (26:57).
Jason Murdock can be reached at email@example.com.