New­ton cross coun­try ends sea­son on strong note

Boys, girls squads each move up four spots at state meet

The Covington News - - SPORTS - By Ja­son Mur­dock

The New­ton boys and girls cross coun­try teams ended their sea­son Satur­day in Car­roll­ton dur­ing the Class AAAAA State Cham­pi­onships on a pos­i­tive note.

For the fourth straight year both squads com­peted in the event — a 5K run (3.1 miles) — a re­mark­able feat con­sid­er­ing where the teams stood in pre­vi­ous years. In ad­di­tion, both teams moved up four spots from the 2006 State Cham­pi­onships.

“I’m real happy that we were able to do that as a team,” said New­ton head coach Aaron Robin­son. “I thought that showed a lot of progress to move up at the state level. Of course, we went in with ex­pec­ta­tions a lit­tle higher, but to im­prove (was) a good bonus.

“We had a re­ally good day,” added Robin­son. “They per­formed re­ally well, es­pe­cially some of the older kids.”

Un­der the lead­er­ship and guid­ance of Robin­son, both teams have es­tab­lished them­selves among the ranks as le­git­i­mate con­tenders.

Ameryst Armstead was New­ton’s top run­ner as she placed 80th over­all with a time of 21 min­utes and 34.81 sec­onds.

Other top fin­ish­ers for the Lady Rams in­cluded Me­gan Heine­man (135th, 23:01.75), Tashia Bowin (169th, 24:42.19), Claire Davis (184th, 25:38.82), Shinita Cald­well (199th, 27:29.58) and Amanda Childers (206th, 28:40.40).

The Lady Rams’ av­er­age time was 24:29.43, best­ing six other schools to place

25th over­all. Last year they fin­ished 29th over­all.

For the New­ton boys, all seven run­ners fin­ished un­der 20 min­utes. “I don’t think we’ve ever done that be­fore,” re­marked Robin­son. “It just shows the guys in the back are do­ing their part. They’ve re­ally stepped it up, and that’s part of the rea­son why our team time was so good.”

Travis Knight led the way for the Rams with a time of 18:06.73, good for 100th over­all.

Other top run­ners in­cluded LeDar­ren Hall (117th, 18:21.19), Ray­mond Mene­fee (143rd, 18:53.33), Tyler Ran­som (151st, 19:02.63), Carl Collins (162nd, 19:25.65), Ja­mal Green (174th, 19:41.59) and Joey Joseph (184th, 19:53.65).

Their av­er­age time was 18:45.91, good for 21st place ahead of 11 other schools. Last year they fin­ished 25th over­all.

Dur­ing the state meet, Las­siter’s Zack Flickinger fin­ished first over­all with a time of 15 min­utes and 49.96 sec­onds.

Her­itage’s Shuaib Win­ters fin­ished his il­lus­tri­ous high school ca­reer with a mark of 16:17.41, which was good for fourth over­all, a ca­reer best dur­ing the state meet.

Win­ters helped his Pa­tri­ots place sixth over­all, a school best.

For the girls, Amanda Winslow (Collins Hill) won with a time of 18:25.62. Winslow helped her team win first place dur­ing its fi­nal meet of the sea­son.

“I wish them all the best of luck,” said Robin­son of his se­niors. “I don’t think it’s nec­es­sar­ily a sad time — it’s just a time for them to move on in their run­ning ca­reers. As far as aca­demics, it’s an op­por­tu­nity for them. I just hope they take what lessons they’ve learned in cross coun­try to wher­ever and what­ever they do.

“All of the many char­ac­ter­is­tics of a good run­ner can also make you an over­all good per­son, too,” added Robin­son.

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