By Ricky Dimon
The Westminster boys lost a thriller when Berry College hosted its annual Clara Bowl invitational last Saturday. In an attempt to defend their Class A-AAA title, the Wildcats lost by a single point, 75-76, at the hands of Allatoona. Sean Smith and Kyle Dhillon finished in the Top 10 overall for Westminster with respective times of 17:29 and 17:39. … Allatoona also emerged victorious in a girls race that lacked serious metro Atlanta contenders. St. Pius ran to a fourth-place showing on the strength of a 20:40 time by Devon Dabney, but the Golden Lions were 35 points off Allatoona’s winning mark of 66. Greater Atlanta Christian finished in eighth place, highlighted by Kelsey Fervier’s 21:40. Fellow Spartan teammates Abigail Mistretta and Anna Collett crossed the line in the top 30 individually. … St. Pius also turned in a strong performance on the boys side even though the team chose to participate in the AAAA-AAAAA contest. Brookwood triumphed with ease, but the Golden Lions raced to a fourth-place finish just as the girls did in A-AAA. Austin Sprague and Calvin Tirrell obliterated the 17:00 mark, wrapping up their meets in 16:08 and 16:34, respectively. Marietta’s Davin Melton recorded a time of 16:58, leading the Blue Devils to seventh place as a team. Ben Pleak came home in 17:10 before a clump of three Marietta runners finished in a span of five seconds from 17:34 to 17:39. … If Brookwood cruised in the boys contest, the Harrison girls were even more dominant in their meet. The Hoyas may not have put a single runner in the top seven overall, but they overwhelmed the rest of the field thanks to their depth. All five point-scorers finished in the top 36 and with times faster than 20:30. Kaylee Isaacs led the way for Harrison in 19:12 before Alex Maeder crossed the line in 19:40 and Maria Boff came home in 19:47. … At the UGA Invitational in Athens, the Marist boys came in fourth in a thrilling contest that saw the top four teams—Walton, Peachtree Ridge, Lakeside-Evans and Marist—finish within 24 points of each other (96 to 120). Marist’s girls also finished in fourth, just ahead of Blessed Trinity. Morgan Ilse of the War Eagles took top individual honors in 19:07 after a photo finish with Sarah Bowles of Lakeside-Evans. … With Labor Day in the past and fall beginning to show its colors, the 2011 cross country season kicks into high gear this weekend in the form of a jam-packed schedule. Teams throughout the state will have their first shot at the state meet course, located at Carrollton High School. Among the schools attending Saturday’s Carrollton Orthopedic Invitational are Grady, Therrell, Parkview and Westminster. … Roswell is hosting the Covered Bridge Run and will welcome Blessed Trinity, Centennial, North Atlanta, North Cobb and Roswell—among others—onto its grounds. … The third annual Battle of Atlanta will also take place on Saturday at Eagle’s Landing High School. Participating teams include Harrison, Marist, Sandy Creek and Whitefield Academy.