As the Raiders (63 points) won the boys title by a slim five-point margin, the girls’ 32 points were less than half of the next team in line.
Rounding out the top four teams in the boys standings — assuring a berth to next week’s state championships in Carrollton — were Etowah (68), Milton (70) and Wheeler (77). Lassiter (164) fell back to seventh.
Milton (68) was a distant second in the girls competition, followed by Roswell (83) and Etowah (115). Lassiter fell just one point shy of the fourth and final team berth to Carrollton, and Wheeler (222) was eighth.
Walton’s Kenan Farmer recorded the day’s fastest time — and a record for him — with a mark of 15 minutes, 45.09 seconds to win the boys’ individual race.
“I feel great. I’m definitely happy with my performance,” Farmer said. “I set my personal record by 1 second. I’m kind of upset that I didn’t get a lower time than what I hoped for, but it was still a very good time.”
Alexa Womack led the Lady Raiders with a time of 18:30.26, which was good enough for second place behind Milton’s Annie Kelly (18:20.74).
Walton coach Travis Gower was pleased with his teams’ performances.
“It is always our goal to come in a win the region,” Gower said. “We have a long history of doing well at this meet. The girls came in confident, they ran strong and together, and they took care of business. The boys didn’t have their best day. We had some guys injured and sick, but they still managed to piece it together.”
Following Farmer for the Walton boys were Jimmie Stuckey (10th, 16:44.37), Connor Kilch (13th, 16:51.95), Brian Sullivan (17th, 16:56.59) and Yu Daniel (22nd, 17:07.56).
Womack was backed by teammates Avery Bussjager (sixth, 18:57), Katie Sanders (seventh, 19:16.93), Erin Radcliffe (eighth, 19:25.11) and Sara Hardin (ninth, 19:37.13).
Wheeler’s Ryan Peck finished third in the boys race with a time of 15:57.12, leading the Wildcats’ contingent bound for Carrollton.
“Ryan has been our No. 2 runner most of the season, but he kind of made up his mind and decided where he wanted to finish (Saturday),” Wheeler coach Jeff Townsend said.
Adel Yoonis, typically Wheeler’s lead runner, was seventh in 16:24.18. Jason Boone (19th, 17:04.17), (20th, 17:06.42), Jordan Lighthouse (28th, 17:22.46) and Shaun Goh (29th, 17:25.59) also contributed to the Wildcats’ scoring.
Lassiter, thought it was unable to garner team berths for the stat meet in either gender, did advance three individuals to Carrollton, based on their top-six finishes.
Alex Guillaume was fifth in the boys race in 16:04.76. Marcie Merriman was fourth in the girls race at 18:42.24, with Morgan Ainslie (18:56.41) fifth.