Twins lead the way at region meet
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They were seeing double at Kinnett Stadium.
LaGrange High’s cross-country team captured the top two spots in the boys’ and girls’ races at the Region 2-AAAA meet on Tuesday in Columbus.
There was a common theme in both races.
In the boys’ race, twin brothers Nathan Fritchley and Aaron Fritchley were the first two runners to cross the finish line.
A short time later it was déjà vu, with LaGrange twin sisters Zamya Rhaney and Zenay Rhaney securing the top two spots in the girls’ race.
In the team competition, LaGrange High’s boys’ team was dominant, capturing five of the top seven spots to earn the championship.
In the girls’ race, LaGrange High came in a close second to Columbus.
Also, Troup’s boys’ team earned a third-place finish, while Troup’s girls’ team placed fourth.
Both LaGrange teams, as well as the Troup boys’ team, will compete in the Class AAAA state meet next week in Carrollton.
The boys’ runners were first onto the 3.1-mile course, and as the race went along, the Fritchley brothers separated themselves from the pack.
As they made their way onto the track at Kinnett Stadium for the home stretch, Nathan Fritchley had a comfortable lead, and he took the top spot with a time of 18 minutes, seven seconds.
Aaron Fritchley (18:26) came in second, and LaGrange’s Terry Franklin (18:36), Bo Beall (18:41) and will Allred (18:50) were fifth through seventh, respectively.
Also for LaGrange, Julian Santiago (19:49) was 15th, and Javon Harris (20:31) was 22nd.
It was a stellar performance by LaGrange, and it was the culmination of a lot of miles the runners put in during the spring, summer and fall.
“From the moment Covid ended our track season, I think we all kind of decided this is what we want, this is our goal,” said Nathan Fritchley. “We focused in on this race, and we showed that today.”
No one was faster than Nathan Fritchley, who has had an outstanding senior season.
“This is something I’ve dreamt about,” Nathan Fritchley said. “I didn’t think I expected to win it back when I was a freshman. I just fell in love with the sport, and I’m happy I eventually won it.”
If Aaron Fritchley couldn’t win, there’s no one else he’d rather see take the championship medal.
“It felt really nice watching Nathan cross the finish line from my point of view on the track,” Aaron Fritchley said.
In the girls’ race, the Rhaney sisters were the class of the field.
Zamya Rhaney (21:51) crossed the finish line first, and she was followed closely by Zenay Rhaney (21:56) in second.
“Once region started coming closer, it was like, we need to win this,” Zamya Rhaney said. “We need to be first and second. It doesn’t matter which one of us comes in first and second, but one of us needs to come in first.”
Zenay Rhaney was thrilled to see her sister achieve a goal she’s worked hard to achieve.
“I’m proud of her,” Zenay Rhaney said. “Ever since freshman year she’s been like, I’ve got to win region at least one year, and to have it her senior year, that tops everything.”
Next for LaGrange was Tatum Fritchley (23:26) who finished sixth, and Alyssa Rhaney (23:26) was 10th.
Ivorie Smith (25:22) was 13th, Delfina Martinez (26:02) placed 14th, and Chloe Morman (28:36) was 16th.
LaGrange coach Chase Wilson was happy with the effort every one of the runners gave on Tuesday.
“All you can ask for is that everybody leaves it all out there, and whatever happens you can live with it either way,” Wilson said. “So I’m real proud of them.”
Troup’s boys’ team earned a spot at the state meet with a third-place showing.
Clay Webb (19:01) was Troup’s top runner in eighth place, Christian Gay (20:03) was 16th, and Tyler Cardwell (20:08) placed 17th.
Lawson Lynd (22:10) was 34th, Carson Cruse (22:38) finished 36th, Kefa Jerome (24:19) was 41st, Josh Tunnell (24:27) placed 42nd.
On the girls’ side, Allie Foster (23:44) raced to a seventh-place finish to lead Troup.
Anna Barintine (30:12) was 18th, Jaiden Jenkins (31:24) finished 20th, and Chloe Thames (35:10) placed 23rd.