CANTON — Etowah’s Makenna Calbert won the girls’ individual title to lead the Lady Eagles to their first region team crown in 13 years at the Region 5AAAAAAA cross country championships at Boling Park on Saturday.
With a total of 40 points, the Etowah girls finished comfortably ahead of runner-up Roswell (61) to claim their first region title since winning Region 5AAAAA in 2007.
“This week has been kind of a long week with training, because obviously, we had region stuff and its been a real long season,” Etowah coach Garrett Hurlburt said. “Overall at times, we were probably a little down. But overall it was still a solid performance by everybody. We didn’t run quite as well as we wanted, but everything looked good. I’m happy with their performance. We’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries, so they’ve been very perseverant, very resilient and focused and I’m very proud of their performance (Saturday).
The Lady Eagles and Roswell will be joined by third-place finisher Milton (62) and fourth-place Woodstock (94) as the four team qualifiers for the Class AAAAAAA girls’ race at the GHSA state cross country championships in Carrollton Nov. 6 and 7.
Cherokee (97) placed fifth, while Alpharetta (136) was sixth.
Calbert successfully overcame a strained hamstring suffered earlier in the week as she led from start to finish and crossed the finish line with a time of 18 minutes, 53 seconds.
“I just went out and tried to stay in front,” Calbert said. “I strained my hamstring on Monday, so I’m trying to get over that. But, I’m happy to be champion and race with all these amazing ladies out here.”
Calbert was among the top six finishers to qualify individually for state, joining runner-up Lexi Pavese of Cherokee (19:19) as well as Roswell’s Melanie Tribick (third, 19:31), Etowah’s Abbie Kallbreier (fourth, 19:35), Cherokee’s Lily Cincola (fifth, 19:37) and Roswell’s Lynley Blocker (sixth, 19:56).
In the boys’ race, Etowah also earned a state qualification as well. The Eagles finished third (75 points) to earn a state berth for the first time since 2015, placing behind champion Milton (34) and runner-up Roswell (58) and ahead of fourth-place Cherokee (115).
Woodstock fell just short of a top-four state qualifying finish with a fifth-place showing (117) and Alpharetta was sixth (130).
Etowah’s Dru Moore was the top Cherokee County finisher among the individual boys with a third-place showing and a time of 16:14. Moore placed behind two Milton runners — champion Hayden Marshall (15:47) and runner-up Jack Petkash (16:10).
The other top-six state-qualifying finishers were Woodstock’s Joseph Mines (fourth, 16:15), Milton’s Connor Brunson (fifth, 16:18) and Roswell’s Christian Jimenez (sixth, 16:23).