Her­itage Mid­dle School sweeps NGAC cross coun­try cham­pi­onships

Walker County Messenger - - Sports - By Scott Herpst

Af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the North Ge­or­gia Ath­letic Con­fer­ence for over a decade, the Her­itage Mid­dle School cross coun­try team con­tin­ued their stay at the top on Tues­day.

In the first-ever sanc­tioned NGAC cross coun­try cham­pi­onship meet, the Navy-andRed had six of the top 10 boys’ fin­ish­ers and five of the top 10 girls’ fin­ish­ers to sweep the team ti­tles on their own home course.

Cross coun­try has been a sport of­fered in the lo­cal mid­dle schools for many years, but it fi­nally be­came a sanc­tioned sport in the con­fer­ence in 2017 as eight schools fielded teams. Only seven schools com­peted on Tues­day as Trion was on fall break and elected not to run.

“I’ve been work­ing with cross coun­try for a while now,” Her­itage coach Steve Bradley said. “It’s re­ally cool to have it be a sanc­tioned event now. It’s some­thing I’ve worked on for the last nine years now, try­ing to get all the teams on board.

“I think it went pretty smooth to­day. I’d love to even­tu­ally get all 10 teams in­volved, but for the first year, I think ev­ery­one was re­spon­sive and did a great job. They came to all the meets this year, even the ones in Chat­tanooga, and ev­ery­one got re­ally in­volved.”

As for Tues­day’s races, Her­itage’s Gavin Chan­dler pulled away in the clos­ing mo­ments to fin­ish the two-mile course in 11:49 and beat out Ring­gold’s Brent Bow­man by a sin­gle sec­ond (11:50). The Her­itage duo of Davis Jus­tice (12:21) and Will Wal­drop (12:30) placed third and fourth, re­spec­tively, while Andy Bree­den (12:31) of Dade County was fifth.

The rest of the top 10 in­cluded Her­itage’s Noah Lovell (12:35), Ring­gold’s Kale Davis (12:39), Her­itage’s Josiah Cook (12:43), Her­itage’s Hay­den Hall (12:45) and LaFayette’s Pre­ston Alexan­der (12:50).

The Gen­er­als fin­ished with 23 points, fol­lowed by Ring­gold (64), Dade County (103), LaFayette (133), Sad­dle

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