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LOCAL SPORTS ROUNDUP: Westwood’s Harrell wins AA cross country state title

Freshman Perra Harrell's GISA Class AA state title gave Westwood its first state championship in girls cross country in the 15-year history of the program.

Freshman Perra Harrell's GISA Class AA state title gave Westwood its first state championship in girls cross country in the 15-year history of the program.

ALBANY — As a freshman running the biggest race of her life Saturday, Westwood’s Perra Harrell was admittedly nervous.

“I just get so scared before races. I don’t know why. I almost started crying,” Harrell said Saturday after the GISA state cross country meet at Darton. “I don’t even look behind me until the last half mile because I’m afraid I’m going to freak out.”

Harrell freaked out many of the top runners in the state Saturday.

The diminutive 13-year-old — who actually should be in the eighth grade, but she skipped third grade — not only won the GISA Class AA state title with a personal best time of 20:09, but by doing so she also captured the first state championship in girls cross country in the 15-year history of the program.

“It was her personal best time, a school record and a first for the program,” said 12th-year Westwood coach Gail Lee of Harrell, who also won region. “I knew she would win, and I was so proud to see her cross that finish line.”

Harrell has a bright future ahead of her.

“I can’t wait to come back next year and try to repeat,” she said.

Westwood finished third as a team, while Trinity Christian was second and Westminster Christian won the girls meet.

On the boys side, Southland turned out the best performance of an area program when freshman Wright Calhoun finished state runner-up in Class AAA with a blistering time of 16:49 — marking the best finish in the state meet by a Southland boys runner in school history. Eighth-grader Billy Calcutt was sixth overall at 17:31 for Southland.

Mount de Sales won the boys meet, followed by Stratford and Southland.


Teams battle in ATC preseason jamboree

ALBANY — The Albany Tech men’s and women’s basketball teams held a preseason jamboree Friday night in preparation for the season opener Thursday at Albany State against Brewton-Parker.

While all the final scores and stats weren’t available, ATC men’s coach Sylvester Patterson said the event was a success.

“The crowds were good, the games were all fairly close, and it was a good atmosphere,” he said, adding that the winners were Central Georgia Tech men after beating Darton’s club team, the Titans beating CGT — led by ex-Dougherty star Arabian Williams’ 14 points — the Albany State women beating the Lady Titans and the newly former Albany pro team, the Shockwave, beat the Titans, 70-60.