Westover defending state cross country champ Ericka Taylor battled through injury this year just to make Saturday's state meet, but fell short of repeating.
CARROLLTON — Dreams of winning state titles died hard for Westover’s Ericka Taylor and Lee County’s Jacob Kennedy on Saturday in Carrollton, where both distance runners fell short in the GHSA state cross country meet.
Taylor, the defending girls Class AAA state champ, ended a long and grueling season with disappointment as she finished 29th in the girls Class AAA meet.
Taylor, a junior, had overcome a knee injury and — after missing more than three weeks of training — felt ready to make a another state title, but simply never got on track.
“It was just one of those days,’’ Westover athletic director and cross country coach Harley Calhoun said. “Nothing went right for her (Saturday). She will just take a break now and get ready for track season in the spring. Sometimes you just have a bad day.’’
Kennedy, a senior, is the best distance runner in Lee County history, but his quest to become the first cross country state champ for the Trojans ended as he had a tough time in the boys Class AAAA state meet. He finished 75th, despite posting some of the fastest times of any runner — in any classification — in preliminary meets during the year.
“I was fifth at the halfway point,’’ Kennedy said. “But then my legs just bombed out on me. I just couldn’t respond any more physically. I didn’t have that drive and power I usually have. Last week I set a course record at the region meet on a tougher course than this one. But this clearly wasn’t my day. Sometimes you have good days, and sometimes you have bad days, and this was a bad day.‘’
Westover’s girls team, which included Toiannah Campbell (90th), finished 17th in the meet, and Monroe, which was led by Davone Anduze (88th), finished 24th in the Class AAA meet. Westover’s boys team was led by Jeremy Bonner (91st) and finished 21st in the meet.
Pelham’s boys and girls teams ran well in the Class A meet. Urssula Aviles (21st) and Elizabeth Phillips (79th) led Pelham’s girls, who finished 17th, and Cullen Edwards (44th), Guthrie Edwards (49th) and Ruben Rivera (76th) led Pelham’s boys, who finished 13th. Baconton Charter’s Bryton Wenzel led the Blazers, and finished 21st overall.
Andrew women lose first game of season, then rebound with win: The Andrew College women’s basketball lost its first game of the season late Friday to TCC (Fla.), 93-64, despite 10 points from Jabreal Alford, then rebounded Saturday at the Darton College Classic with a 75-53 rout of West Georgia Tech, thanks to a double-double from Alford (15 points, 16 rebounds).
Angel Penn added 12 as the Lady Tigers next host Brewton Parker on Tuesday.