Thursday, October 28, 2010

White and Rutherford lead a Thomasville sweep of Region 1-2A

If Thomasville High School had to pick a theme for the GHSA Region 1-2A cross-country championships, it would have been something like, "It's our party and we'll win if we want to." The hosts from Thomasville won every title at stake at the meet at Pebble Hill Plantation on Thursday morning, 28 October 2010. Led by Rosalie White's first place finish, the Thomasville girls won the regional team title with 28 points. In the boys' race, Thomasville's Grif Rutherford was the regional champion, and the Thomasville team placed first with 56 points.

It was a warm, humid morning that belonged more to the opening weeks of cross-country season than to mid-autumn and one of the last meets of the season. The sky was mostly cloudy, though, and never got clear enough for the sun to harass the runners. The girls' 5K race started somewhat after 10:30. Albany High School's Kair'Shay Jackson set the early pace, but by the end of the first kilometer she had been overtaken by Rosalie White of Thomasville. White continued to lead, but could never quite shake Jackson. With just under a kilometer to go, Jackson started to close on White, but then White smelled home and ran away from Jackson, winning the race 23:03 to 23:13. Loren Martin of Early County was third (24:12), while Kara Meng of Thomasville was fourth (24:29). All five Thomasville scorers finished in the top ten, giving the Bulldogs a winning total of 28 points. The top four teams qualified for the GHSA Championship Meet in Carrollton on 6 November 2010, and Thomasville, Albany (2nd, 47 points), Early County (3rd, 51 points), and Fitzgerald (4th, 96 points) made the cut.

Jonathon Davison of Early County went to the front early in the boys' race, but soon fell back. Close to the end of the first kilometer Thomasville's Grif Rutherford became the new pacesetter, with Pedro Martinez of Fitzgerald on his heels. Martinez couldn't keep up the pursuit, though, and was passed first by Michael Johns of Early County and then Tony Jackson of Cook County. Johns kept Rutherford in sight, but couldn't catch him. Rutherford crossed the line first in 18:29, followed by Johns (18:42), Jackson (19:05), and Martinez (19:27). While Rutherford won by nearly 60 meters, the team standings were much closer--Thomasville only edged Fitzgerald for the regional title by the thinnest of margins, 56 to 57. Cook County and Early County were in a battle for third that was nearly as close, with Cook prevailing 67 to 69. The top four teams qualified for the state championships, but the season was over for Berrien County (5th, 113 points) and Albany (6th, 137 points).

Aside from rudely winning everything in sight, Thomasville High put on a good meet for their guests. Pebble Hill Plantation is a beautiful venue, and the course the runners take through the plantation includes a variety of surfaces and terrain. In addition to course markings, Thomasville High had course marshals at every intersection and a lead bicyclist.

Girls' Team Standings
  1. Thomasville, 28 points
  2. Albany, 47 points
  3. Early County, 50 points
  4. Fitzgerald, 85 points

Top Ten Girls
  1. Rosalie White (Thomasville) 23:02.27
  2. Kair'Shay Jackson (Albany) 23:12.84
  3. Raven Martin (Early County) 24:11.68
  4. Kara Meng (Thomasville) 24:28.46
  5. Dallas Knox (Early County) 24:49.87
  6. Emma Fennelly (Thomasville) 24:52.55
  7. Jessica Burnett (Albany) 25:24.96
  8. Rebecca Jones (Thomasville) 26:11.68
  9. Carrie Mata (Thomasville) 27:21.87
  10. Hiltkeria Childs (Albany) 27:41.49

Boys' Team Standings
  1. Thomasville, 56 points
  2. Fitzgerald, 57 points
  3. Cook County, 67 points
  4. Early County, 69 points
  5. Berrien County, 113 points
  6. Albany, 137 points

Top Ten Boys
  1. Grif Rutherford (Thomasville) 18:28.49
  2. Michael Johns (Early County) 18:41.58
  3. Tony Jackson (Cook County) 19:04.93
  4. Pedro Martinez (Fitzgerald) 19:26.21
  5. Chino Aguilera (Thomasville) 19:43.68
  6. Saul Gonzales (Cook County) 20:09.52
  7. Drew Thomas (Cook County) 20:20.43
  8. Jonathon Davison (Early County) 20:25.52
  9. Will White (Thomasville) 20:37.24
  10. Andre Magwood (Fitzgerald) 20:49.99


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