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Evans wins region XC meet; Wildcats, Canes post top-3 finishes

Woodland’s Rylee Evans finished nearly two minutes before anyone else in the Region 7-AAAAA girls cross country meet Tuesday at her home course.

Thanks in part to Evans, Woodland placed second in the girls event. The Wildcats came in third on the boys side. Cartersville also posted top-three team finishes, coming in second in boys and third in girls.

Blessed Trinity won the events, Calhoun placed fourth in each and Hiram came in fifth in both. The Cass boys placed sixth, while the Colonels didn’t send a girls team.

With the top four teams advancing to state, it wasn’t absolutely imperative to peak at the region meet. That can be saved for state — which for Class 5A, takes place Nov. 7 at Carrollton.

Even still, Evans crossed the finish line in 19 minutes, 43.82 seconds — beating her time from the Run at the Rock by one second — with the runner-up from Blessed Trinity completing the race with a time of 21:40.43.

The Titans claimed four of the top six spots. Meanwhile, the Wildcats had the other top-six finish, as Danielle Thayer (22:04.32) came in fourth overall.

Woodland added another couple of runners inside the top 10, with Olivia Berry (22:29.67) finishing eighth and Erin Bollwerk (22:31.78) placing 10th. Emma Segars (13th, 23:41.53) rounded out the Wildcats’ five-best finishes.

Cartersville only managed one top-10 finish in the girls race, but the Canes wound up with four others from 14-19 to easily outpace the Yellow Jackets.

Elizabeth Nelson finished ninth — a fraction of a second ahead of Bollwerk — with freshmen Meredith Gaines (14th) and Grace Smith (15th) crossing the line almost simultaneously at the 24-minute mark. Samathan Herrera (17th, 24:29.44) and Jaxiry Betancourt (19th, 25:06.69) represented Cartersville’s final two scorers.

On the boys side, the local teams were shut out of the top five by four Blessed Trinity runners and one from Calhoun.

Colin McCann (6th, 17:19.90) and Sydney Stegall (7th, 17:29.49) went back-to-back in sixth and seventh, respectively, to lead the Canes. Sam Peters snuck into the top 10, placing 10th with a time of 17:48.88. Bill Archer (17:53.98) came in 12th, and Levi Booth (18:17.41) finished 17th.

As for Woodland, the hosts landed four of their five scorers in the 11-16 range. McKinley Chappell (11th, 17:49.80) led the group; Patrick Bollwerk (18:01.15) managed a 13th-place finish; and Tyler Jones (18:10.76) came in 14th. Drew Thayer (16th, 18:16.44) rounded out the group, while John Forsyth (24th, 18:53.89) ended up being the team’s fifth scorer.

Andrew Glaze paced Cass, placing 15th overall in 18 minutes, 14.59 seconds. Critton Gearhart (20th, 18:35.53) also earned a top-20 finish for the Colonels. Jake Wright (19:15.53) came in 30th; Prem Patel (19:52.07) wound up 33rd; and Adam Pierce (20:41.24) crossed the line in 36th position.