Newton's Alex Grady gets top 15 in AAAAA meet

CARROLLTON -- The Eastside and Newton cross country squads may not have made their mark in the state meet on Saturday in Carrollton, but Alex Grady sure did.

When the Class AAA meet started, the Eastside boys were seeded as the No. 26 team. They came out and proved themselves, finishing three spots higher than they were posted for a finish at No. 23. The girls came in 26th overall with 710 points.

After being the first -place finisher for the Eastside girls at the Region 4-AAA meet, Naomi Denby was the last runner for Eastside with a time of 27:07.46 for a 176 spot overall."I'm proud of them. My No. 1 girl, Naomi, was not feeling well but she sucked it up and ran and did the best she could," Eastside head coach Leah Carlisle said. "They're all good kids and did the best they could."

Scoring for the Eastside girls were Blakeley Smith (122 -- 24:02.00), Melissa Howard (124 -- 24:14.12), Rhodelle Lewis (136 -- 24:44.65), Taylor Jones (161 -- 26:12.80) and Ashley Larrimore (167 -- 26:30.22). Coming in three places behind Larrimore was Sarah Gaddis who ran the 5K course in 26:48.12.

Before the meet started, Carlisle was not concerned in what place the boys finished. Instead, she wanted everyone to set a personal best time.

She got her wish with her first three finishers as Michael Johnson-Weeks (62 -- 18:13.68), Joey Ellwanger (81 -- 18:35.99) and Ryan Farrow (90 -- 18:45.95) all had new personal records.

Helping Eastside score were Kyle Yeomans (20:15.69) and Conner Haler (188 -- 20:59.77). Not scoring but running for Eastside were Austin Knight (190 -- 21:01.93) and Jack Mitchell (193 -- 20:59.77)

Grady, a junior at Newton, really wanted a top 10 finish. Instead he has to live with the disappointment of a top 15 finish as he came in 13th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 24.35 seconds.

In the Class AAAAA meet, the Newton boys finished 24th overall out of 32 teams, with 706 points while the Newton girls came in 31st overall.

Scoring for the Newton boys with Grady were Shemar Rannie (146 -- 18:49.49), Sean McDuffie (160 -- 19:02.92), Jose Rivera (184 -- 19:32.97) and Ronnie Tate (20:02.21). Running but not scoring were Bryan Harrison (207 -- 20.13,75) and Randolph Barrett (20:27.96).

Newton's girls did not do as well coming in next to last with 979 points.

They first runner for Newton, who was the 182nd overall, crossed the finish line in 24:24.36. Also scoring for Newton were Brittany Banks (184 -- 24:29.91), Maiya Newton (202 -- 26:32.84), Genevieve Antoine (205 -- 27:07.28) and Cicely Inge (206 -- 27:69).

Rose Valentin participated but did not have a fast enough time to help lower Newton's score coming in 211 in a time of 28:30.84.