LFO stand­out Mar­tinez sets mark at state

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - By Scott Herpst sherpst@npco.com

Al­though he fin­ished a lit­tle lower in the over­all stand­ings than he did a year ago, Satur­day was still a big day for LFO se­nior cross coun­try run­ner Erik Mar­tinez.

Mar­tinez, com­pet­ing in the GHSA Class AAA state cham­pi­onships at Car­roll­ton High School, clocked in at 17: 34 ( 19th over­all), beat­ing his best- ever time at the state meet by two sec­onds. Mar­tinez ran a 17: 36 at last year’s state meet.

The War­riors’ stand­out was also the top fin­isher from Re­gion 6- AAA. Mar­tinez, the only LFO run­ner to qual­ify for state, beat two- time re­gion cham­pion Jesse Mar­tinez of Mur­ray County ( 17: 37, 20th over­all) by three sec­onds in Satur­day’s race, which in­cluded 205 to­tal run­ners.

It marked the fourth straight year the LFO stand­out has seen his time im­prove at the state meet.

Devin Crow of North Hall won the in­di­vid­ual ti­tle with a time of 16: 19.

Gavin Chan­dler had the fastest time for the Her­itage Gen­er­als in the boys’ Class AAAA state fi­nal. The fresh­man clocked in at 18: 31 to fin­ish in the top 50. The race fea­tured 221 to­tal run­ners.

Caleb Boyd (19:11) and Joel Lewis (19:21) both fin­ished in the top 100. Also rac­ing for the Gen­er­als was Luke Shack­elford (19:49), Davis Jus­tice (20:19), Ryan Craft (20:24) and Dakota Carter (21:08). Craft spent Fri­day night as the kicker for the Her­itage foot­ball team in their win over North­west Whit­field.

Leif An­der­sen of Marist won the ti­tle in a time of 16:17, while Re­gion 6-AAAA cham­pion Os­car Diego-guz­man of South­east (17:40) fin­ished 26th. Lafayette High School also had one in­di­vid­ual run­ner qual­ify as Devin Hen­der­son got into the top 100 ( 19: 15).

St. Pius X saw all seven of its run­ners fin­ish in the top 19, with their top four all fin­ish­ing in the top six spots over­all, as they won the team ti­tle 28 points. Marist was sec­ond with 69 points, fol­lowed by Blessed Trin­ity with 76.

In the Class AAAA girls’ race, Al­li­son Craft led the Lady Gen­er­als with a 22:30 to match Chan­dler with a 47th place fin­ish. Also rac­ing for Her­itage was Lilly Black ( 24: 25), Kalei Howard ( 24: 27), Emma Tennyson (25:24), Skye Remko (25:39), Mor­gan Easley (25:53) and Gracey Mc­coy (29:48). Her­itage fin­ished 18th in the team stand­ings.

Kath­leen Ma­ley of Marist crossed the line in 19: 22 to help lead her team to the state ti­tle. Marist fin­ished with 42 points, fol­lowed by St. Pius X (60) and Blessed Trin­ity ( 64).

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