In the final tune-ups before region meets, area cross country teams placed well at two events this past weekend.
Alcovy hosted its last-chance invitational and finished second as a team behind first-place finisher Domonique Brown (18:26.64), who finished nearly 17 seconds ahead of Ola's Justin Irvin. The Tigers had four other top-20 finishers: Damontae Ivey (9th at 19:37.55); Vincent Bond (14th at 19:55.69); Dakota Papke (18th at 20:13.05) and Joshua Holcombe (20th at 20:15.91).
Salem's boys finished seventh, but Dontavious Wright placed third at 18:56.25. Roy Cooley, who finished 30th with a time of 20:55.61, and Robert Williams (48th at 22:08.17), were the only other Seminoles to finish in the top 50. Rockdale's Forrest Freeman finished 26th (20:40.58) to pace the ninth-place Bulldogs.
On the girl's side, Alcovy was third behind five top-25 finishers. Matresa Flowers was 13th at 26:04.50, nipping Ola's Emily Kanniard by a half of a second. Katelyn Childress (21st, 27:15.64); Makiala Houseworth (22nd, 27:51.89); Meagan Tucker (23rd, 28:35.20) and Portia Toney (24th, 28:45.36) also ran well for the Lady Tigers.
Meanwhile, Heritage, Eastside and Newton were a little farther south at Carrollton's Last Chance Invitational. At the site of the state's cross country meet Nov. 7, Heritage finished eighth out of 29 teams in the Class AAAA event, thanks to Aaron Worthy's ninth-place finish (17:28.23). Brandon Harrison picked up a top-40 finish, running in 18:17.64 and placing 33rd. In the girl's Class AAAA race, Simone Worthy finished 48th at 22:33.11 and Lena Killingsworth, 54th at 22:42.00 to pace the Lady Patriots' 14th-place finish.
Eastside had three top-40 finishers to help secure a seventh-place finish of 12 Class AAA boys teams. Sam Johnson's time of 18:39.96 was good enough for 27th place, though he missed a top-25 time by less than five seconds. Kyle Yeomans (39th, 19:08.07) and Michael Hammock (40th, 19:08.85) also ran well. The Eastside girls finished last of 12 teams, led by Naomi Denby's 51st-place time of 23:43.02.
In Class AAAAA boys action, Newton's Tyler Ransom finished 59th at 18:28.24.
The area's region meets begin Thursday when Eastside will run in the Region 8-AAA race. Saturday, Heritage, Salem and Rockdale run in the Region 8-AAAA race at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, while Newton heads to Luella High School in Locust Grove for the Region 2-AAAAA meet and Alcovy hosts the Region 4-AAAA race.
Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at kurt.aschermann@rockdalecitizen.