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Evans runner Justin Weegar shines at region meet

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While both Lakeside cross country teams continued its dominance of region competition, an Evans runner maintained his own level of control in the individual ranks.

TEAM PAGE: Aiken Hornets

TEAM PAGE: Evans Knights

Sophomore Justin Weegar won the Region 2-AAAAA Championship individually with a time of 16:17 on Saturday. Weegar claimed his second win at the Wildwood Park course, the first coming Sept. 8, when he finished in 15:43.

Despite Weegar’s efforts, Evans finished third in the region event. Lakeside took home boys and girls titles to solidify its spots in the state rankings.

In the final Ga.MileSplit.com cross country rankings of the season, the Lakeside girls remained No. 1 in Class AAAAA. The Panthers also cracked the top 10 across all levels in the state at No. 8. Sarah Bowles led Lakeside with a second-place finish in the region meet.

The Lakeside boys finished the season ranked fourth in Class AAAAA. The Panthers were led by Chase Fowers and Eric Stokes, who placed second and third in the region meet.

Both Lakeside teams will compete in the Class AAAAA State Championship in Carrollton on Saturday.

STRONG FINISH: Aquinas sophomore Shannon Fair earned All-State honors in cross country after a solid finish in the Class A Private State Championship in Macon on Saturday.

Fair was fifth in the state meet with a time of 19:42.68. She was coming off an individual win in the Region 7-A Private Championship on Oct. 24 that earned her trip to the state meet as an individual.

The Aquinas boys finished 15th overall in the state meet. Michael McCormack finished 14th with a time of 17:05.52.

IMPRESSIVE RUN: Despite losing in the Class AAAA State Championship to Hillcrest for a second consecutive year, Aiken’s volleyball team produced a solid record and individual numbers.

The Hornets, who finished 29-10 and 10-0 in Region 5-AAAA, received 569 kills from senior Natasha Dicks, an improvement of 221 kills from her junior season. The hitter’s booming kills forced opposing defenses to focus on her, and she took advantage any time they didn’t. She had 19 kills in the state championship.

“Her power just will not stop,” Hornets coach Malynda Young said. “They know she won’t go on hold, and defenses know the focus is on her.”

Tyler Smith added 280 kills for Aiken, while Taylor Mabry led the Hornets with 372 digs. Dicks added 333 digs for second most on the team.

LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Fox Creek’s season ended abruptly on Oct. 31 in a Class A semifinal loss to St. Joseph’s, which went on to win the state title.

The Predators finished 31-4 and 12-0 in Region 4-A, remaining No. 2 in the Prepcountry.com Coaches Poll for Class A throughout the season. They received three All-Region players in Stefanie Bloedel, Morgan Williams and Haley Bryant, and Bryant was named to the All-State team.

“We developed quite a few of our younger players, making us a deeper team this year and a more experienced team next year,” coach Clay Bryant said. “This team learned a lot about volleyball and really came together as a team throughout this season.”


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