Will Ficklen led the way for Class AAA No. 6-state ranked Spalding, racing to a third-place time of 17:32.
“It was a good way to start the season,” said Ficklen, who was 31 seconds behind Eagles Landing Christian Academy’s Luke Baker (17:01) in second and 37 seconds Woodward Academy’s Nathan Vassey (16:55) in first.
Heritage scored 85 points to edge out Eagle’s Landing High School with 86 points for the overall boys title. Providence Christian was a distant third with 186 points. Spalding was competing without three of its starters in the lineup for one reason or another.
In the girls division, Class AAA No. 10-state ranked Spalding High was led by Jenna Wesley’s seventh-place time of 21:59.
“It felt good,” said Wesley. “It was a little damp (on the course), which was tough, and a little windy, which was rough too.”
Still, Owen was pleased with Wesley’s run.
“That’s not bad considering she was fighting an upper-respiratory infection,” Owen noted.
Woodland’s Alison Bishop ran a 20:50 to win the overall girls title two seconds ahead of runner-up Taylor Kem (20:52) of West Forsyth.
Whitewater scored 98 points to win the overall girls team title, well ahead of second-place St. Pius with 119 points.
Both Wesley and Ficklen said changes made to the course because of construction on campus, made the race a little tougher.
“They added a hill and a steep downhill,” said Wesley.