LFO standout Martinez sets mark at state
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).