Cross country teams are Region champs

Published 9:36 am Friday, November 7, 2008

Coach Mandi O’Mara’s Bainbridge High School Lady Cats and Bearcats are Region 1AAAA champions.

They won the titles Saturday at the Region 1AAAA meet at Jones County High School in Gray.

The Lady Cats were led by April Thomas, the individual Region champion with a time of 20 minutes, 25 seconds in the 3.1-mile meet, and Frankie Warren, who was the individual Region runner-up with a time of 21:25.

Thomas set a new Spring Hill Christmas Tree Farm record Sept. 20 when she ran a time of 21:06 at the ninth annual Bearcats and Lady Cats Invitational.

Leading the Bearcats at the Region 1AAAA meet were Richie Hughes, Cody Heard, Erick Juarez, Austin Howard, Hunter Bulger, Dylan Faircloth and Davey Reynolds.

O’Mara said she couldn’t be prouder of her two teams, pointing out that their hard work and training have really paid off.

“These cross country kids have been training for a long time,” the Lady Cats and Bearcats coach said. “Some have been training since the beginning of June.

“They have represented Bainbridge High School, Bainbridge and Decatur County well, and they are all high character young people. If local citizens see these kids, I urge them to congratulate them and tell them how proud you are of them. They showed a lot of class,” O’Mara said.

“April Thomas, who is just a sophomore, shook the hands of all the other medal winners before she would accept her own. That was really a classy thing to do,” the coach said.

The Region 1AAAA Meet race was a very tough one and the top three team scores were very close.

“Everyone did their best, and that is all a coach can ask. We have a very focused group of young runners, who have been a pleasure to work with. Their work ethic is outstanding.”