The Winder-Barrow High School cross country teams went back to work Saturday with the boys earning a second place finish and the Lady Bulldoggs earning third place.
WBHS competed in the North Georgia Mountain Eagle Invitational in Clarksville.
William Wright paced the WBHS boys with a fifth place finish overall in 18:00 followed by Nelson Lofton, who finished eighth overall in the varsity boys race in 18:10. The other top runners for the Bulldoggs were Tony Rowden (12th, 18:23), Gustavo Garcia (18th, 18:56) and Timmy Villamater (21st, 19:05).
Coach Michael Lofton said he was pleased to have his top five runners each finish in the top 25.
“We ran this course last year and wanted to go back this season,” Lofton said. “Not all races are going to be a walk in the park. Our runners who ran the course last season improved their times. The kids ran well and ran smart. I was happy with how we did.”
WBHS Lady Bulldogg freshman Micah Weathers was second overall in 19:50 and continues to be impressive during her debut varsity season.
Amber Palermo was ninth overall in 21:43 followed by teammates Sara Carpenter (22:51) and Kiana Perez (22:55). Macy Hayes just missed the top 25 with her time of 23:24.
There were more than 150 runners in the varsity boys division and more than 100 in the varsity girls race.
The WBHS junior varsity boys were first as a team led by Harrison Daniel’s first place individual finish (19:28). Teammate Coby Smith was third in 19:56 while Austin Hubbard was sixth in 20:15. Also leading the JV boys were Taylor Smith in seventh place (20:17) and Brandon Banks in eighth place (20:19.)
The JV Lady Bulldoggs were led by Hope Richardson, who was fifth individually in 24:15. Lofton said Richardson has seen her time drop drastically during her freshman season.
WBHS will host its invitational Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. at Bramlett Elementary School. Varsity races are at 8 a.m. followed by junior varsity runners at 9 a.m. and middle school participants beginning at 10 a.m.
Several schools are scheduled to attend including Archer, John’s Creek, Rockdale County, Altoona, Athens Christian School, Haberham Central, Jefferson, Lanier, Social Circle, South Gwinnett, Walnut Grove and Apalachee.