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Galimah wins in first-ever HS cross country race

Jallah Galimah couldn’t have started his first high school cross country season any better.

The Heritage freshman ran in 16:53.06 to win the fifth annual Mid State Cross Country Classic at the Guardian Center in Perry last weekend, helping the Patriots finish as runner-up in the 13-team event. Galimah’s time set the course at Guardian Center.

“We are pleased with his performance today, but he must keep in mind that the competition gets much tougher from here,” said Patriots coach Scott Wade. “He can not rest on past accomplishments. It is all about the training.”

TJ Wilson finished 10th, running in 18:32.03, while three other Patriots placed in the top-25: Jacob Ball (17th, 18:49.25); Samuel Wells (19th, 19:09.50) and Sager McCrary (21st, 19:11.75).

The Heritage girls placed sixth, thanks in large part to a seventh-place finish by Alexia Wilson (23:08.38). Also placing in the top-20 for the Patriots was Synia White (18th at 24:42.97).

“We competed well,” said Wade. “We are headed in a very positive direction.”

The Rockdale boy’s cross country team got its season off to a fine start last weekend as the Bulldogs were runners-up to Whitewater in the 24-team Mercy Invitational at Our Lady of Mercy high School.

Rockdale, which scored finished 23 points back of the Fayette County school in the standings (74 to 97), was led by Dax Willette, who picked up right where he left off in 2013. Willette had an excellent freshman season and in the first race of his sophomore campaign, finished third, running in 17:01.22.

Junior Jonathan Butler placed 11th with of a time of 18:04.29, while fellow junior Lloyd Martin (24th at 18:48.10) and senior Kevin Mendez (26th at 18:52.29) rounded out the Bulldogs’ top-30 finishers. Senior Patrick Massie, who finished 33rd at 19:10.89, was the other Bulldogs’ runner to receive points. Sophomore Kosi Wideman (34th, 19:13.07) and junior Trey Leggon (37th, 19:17.58) rounded out the Conyers school’s top-40 finishers.

In the girl’s race, senior Oryah Bangura placed 47th (24:17.37) to lead Rockdale to a 12th-place finish.

The Newton boys finished 13th at the Northeast Georgia Cross Country Championships, which were hosted by Athens Christian, as Cameron Clark led the way individually with a 10th-place finish (19:18.80). The Eastside boys placed 11th, thanks in large part to 28th-place finisher Patrick Dogherty (20:10.45).