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Pats' NewRock streak over
Rams end Heritage boys' eight-year dominance

CONYERS - Newton ended Heritage's eight-year winning streak in the boys race at the NewRock Meet on Monday at Rockdale High School.

The Rams placed all five of their runners in the top 13, finishing with 39 points to claim the top spot and end the Patriots' streak. Heritage finished second with 48.

"I was very pleased (with our effort). The guys ran very hard," Newton coach Aaron Robinson said. "All I told them is go out and run your best. You can't really worry about what other people run. Sometimes, it works out for you."

Heritage senior Aaron Worthy continued his strong start to the season by capturing the individual boys title with a time of 17 minutes, 28 seconds, his third overall meet victory of the season.

"Aaron just continues to be steady for us, real consistent," Heritage coach Brian Smith said. "He's trained hard and he's got confidence going into every meet. His strength all year has been his ability to pick it up from the midpoint (of the race) in (to the finish). He's done that against all his competitors so far."

However, it was the Rams' ability to run in a tight pack that spelled doom for Heritage's impressive streak.

Jason Moffitt led the way for Newton in fourth place at 18:32. Just behind him were Jamal Green in fifth at 18:35 and Taylor Ransom in sixth at 19:05.

Matt Knight in 11th at 19:30 and Will Martin in 13th at 19:40 completed Newton's top five.

"We had a good cluster up front, which we've talked about being a big help to us," Robinson said. "We don't have a real superstar, but we've got a real good group. They're doing a great job, they're putting forth the extra effort and they're being smart about their training.

"Coach Smith and Coach (Scott) Wade (at Heritage) are so impressive. Year after year, they have a good squad. It feels good to beat them. They've been tough ever since I've been at Newton. It's been a while since anyone's beaten their boys or girls. We are certainly proud. I'm delighted with the guys, their efforts and what it got them today."

Even though Heritage saw one of its streaks come to an end, it still retained the overall meet championship, which is based on the combined scores of the girls and boys teams.

The Patriots held onto the trophy for the 12th straight year with a total of 85 points followed by Eastside at 137, Newton at 157, Alcovy at 207 and Salem at 352. Rockdale did not post a combined team score because it did have a girls team score.

Rounding the top five for the Heritage boys were Andrew Connors in seventh, Zach Whiten in 11th, Zach Landy in 14th and Mike Dontfraid in 15th.

The Alcovy boys placed third with 79 points thanks in part to top-10 finishes by Dominique Brown and Josh Holcombe. Brown placed third at 18:12 and Holcombe took ninth at 18:42.

The Eastside boys claimed fourth with 99 points. Michael Hammock led the way in eighth place at 18:42, while Kyle Yoemans was three seconds behind in 10th.

Rockdale edged Salem by one point (209-210) to claim fifth in the boys race. Forrest Freeman paced the Bulldogs with a 13th-place finish in 19:09.

Salem's effort was led by Dontavious Wright, who finished as the race runner-up behind Worthy with a time of 17:49.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.