COVINGTON -- Junior Newton cross country runner Alex Grady knows the importance of achieving a goal after winning the Region 2-AAAAA boys cross country meet on Saturday at Luella.
Grady beat former teammate and Westlake transfer Thomas Miller by 30 seconds. Grady finished first with a time of 16 minutes, 54.49 seconds with Miller taking second place with a time of 17:26.96.
"Last year I couldn't beat him. This year I was able to turn out and finally beat him, so I was happy about that," Grady said about defeating Miller. "I finally got rid of some old anger."
Grady said that his win was a combination of a couple of factors. He feels that he may have gotten a little faster and the Miller might have lost a step or two since leaving Newton.
"He (Miller) doesn't have the same training. So I feel like it was a little bit of both," Grady said.
Miller won the region meet last year with a time of 16:51.95 with Grady, who was running cross country for the first time, came in second with a time of 17:10.50.
Now that he has reached one goal, winning region, Grady is putting that behind him as he starts to concentrate on the state meet in Carrollton on Saturday.
"It felt very rewarding. I thought I was going to have a little bit more competition, so there was a little bit of a relief during the race. I was pretty happy about that, but right now I'm just focused on state," Grady said.
"Since the beginning of the season it's probably been one of my top priorities to come out on top, just to see where I'm at and mainly to prepare for state."
Grady's goal at state has more to do with where he finishes rather than a time he has in mind.
"I'm trying to get the top 10," said Grady. "I don't have a time in mind because of the competition that's going to be there. But I know my time has got to be fast. I'm really hoping to get top 10 because I'm not expected to. To get on the podium would be really good."