Chattahoochee Boys, Northview Girls Win XC Region Championships
As the Georgia High School Association cross country season nears its end, region championships are taking place around the state throughout the week, including the 5A Region 6 championship. After the junior varsity 5K runs wrapped up, the varsity girls were next up on the course and it would not take long for North Springs’ Lottie Chappell to get out in front of the pack in route to a first place finish and region championship as she crossed the line in a time of 19:52.83, nearly 34 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.
While Chappell’s North Springs team would place fifth overall in the race, Northview would take the top spot and region championship. “Really, I just got a lot of momentum. The first stretch of the race is all downhill so I just tried to carry that through,” Chappell said of her run strategy throughout the race. “Just push through the hills,” Chappell added and noting that ultimately, “it was a good race” for her and her teammates.
The boys 5K run would have a similar finish as Chattahoochee’s Diago Santiago and his teammate Chris Connolly would jump out in front with about a 30 meter lead not even into a mile of the run. As they race continued, Santiago would increase the distance not only between himself and the pack, but some distance between he and Connolly as well. With no runners able to make up any ground, Santiago would place first in a time of 16:20.48 to take the region title. And thanks to the finish of Connolly and several other Chattahoochee runners, the Cougars would win the boys region title.
“We’re super proud of it, we train together, boys and girls, everybody trains at the same level,” Chattahoochee coach, Mike Morris said of the boys’ first place and girls’ third place finishes on the day. “One of the things that we love about this sport is that we come in at different levels. Some people come in a lot further behind than others, but it’s fun to see everybody grow,” coach Tim Reeder added about seeing their teams’ finishes.