On Tuesday afternoon, the Region 8-AA Championships came and passed at Oglethorpe County High School. Banks County’s boys took the top honors, led by individual champion Griffin Stephens.
Stephens (16:58) was 23 seconds ahead of Union’s Luke Gambrell (17:21). The Leopards had the third-best runner as well, with Buck Ledford (17:29) coming in with a solid time. Union finished third for the boys side, meaning the Panthers, who are the defending Class 2A State Champions, are locked in for state as well. Rabun’s boys finished just off the cut for state, coming in 5th overall, led by Lazero Garcia’s 21st-place finish.
For the girls, it was the host team of Oglethorpe who took the top spot as a team, but Banks, Rabun, and Union finished 2nd-4th, all making state. Union’s Zoe Sanchez won the region title for a second straight season, as the senior posted a 20:35, 27 seconds ahead of second-place. Rabun’s Molly Jo Wright (22:44) came in 7th overall, while Banks County’s top performer was Destinie Martin (22:52) at 9th place. Union’s Sadie Underwood came in 8th with a 22:52 as well.