The Winder-Barrow High School cross country teams are showing they have the potential to have an extremely successful 2012 season.
Both the Bulldoggs and Lady Bulldoggs won their divisions Saturday at the Aubrea Gunderson Invitational, held at the International Horse Park in Conyers. The event, which features all of the teams in Winder-Barrow’s region, was viewed as a preview of the upcoming 8-AAAAA meet.
“We were very pleased with the outcome,” said WBHS coach Michael Lofton. “It was a huge meet with several races. We had several personal and season bests established.”
The WBHS boys were paced by William Wright, who was fourth overall. Wright completed the course in 17:24.
Alex Martinez (17:26), Nelson Lofton (17:43), Timmy Villameter (17:49) and Skyler Lowe (17:57) were also part of the top five for the Bulldoggs.
For the Lady Bulldoggs, Caitlin Connell continued her standout fall with a first place finish in 19:52. Lofton said Connell started somewhat at the back of the pack, but gradually worked her way toward the front.
“When she was running down the stretch, we saw she was in the lead,” Lofton said. “It was just another great effort by Caitlin.”
Whitley Kennedy was seventh overall in 20:33 followed by Anna Dean in eighth with a time of 20:38. Amber Polermo was 17th in 21:30 and Kiana Perez was 20th overall in 21:35.
Runners who finished in the top 20 each received medals so the WBHS runners brought home 10 medals Saturday.
“We were a little worried early in the week,” Lofton said. “Our runners were dealing with some soreness, but they pushed through it once they were on the course. This is our region course so the fact our runners did so well Saturday will help give them confidence once the region competition arrives.”
It was also a productive day for the WBHS junior varsity runners Saturday in Conyers.
D.J. Smith was seventh in the JV boys event in 18:41. Dakota Kay was 19th overall in 19:19 with teammate Will Purcell finishing 20th in 19:20.
Isabelle Martin was 11th overall for the JV Lady Doggs in 23:08.
WBHS will host a meet Saturday at its course at Bramlett Elementary School.
“There are some brand new sections of the course,” Lofton said. “A very large hill has been built so the course will provide a challenge.”
Anywhere from 12-14 teams are expected to compete.
The varsity boys race begins at 8 a.m. followed by the varsity girls at 8:30 a.m. Junior varsity races begin at 9:20 a.m. with the middle school runners starting their race at 11:20 a.m.