By Ricky Dimon
Walton’s boys turned in a dominant performance last Saturday at the Cobb County Championships, racing away from an 18-team field to capture the title. Walton boasted four runners in the top six, all of whom recorded times between 16:06 and 16:32. Brian Sullivan took home top individual honors for the victorious Raiders, followed closely behind by teammates R.J. Torres (third), Kenan Farmer (fourth) and Michael Warrick (sixth). The 43 points compiled by Walton were 49 clear of runner-up Pope and 73 better than third-place Marietta. Pope’s Patrick Fleming finished in second behind Sullivan with a time of 16:13. … A more competitive girls’ race saw Harrison take the title with 42 points, good enough to get past runner-up Walton (68 points) and third-place Lassiter (72 points). The Hoyas placed four runners in the top 10 and all five point-scorers in the top 15. Marcie Merriman of Lassiter won the race in 18:40 while runner-up Kaylee Isaacs led the way for Harrison in 18:54. Lassiter’s Morgan Ainslie finished in third with a time of 18:59, followed closely behind by Pope’s Molly Schenck and Walton’s Alexa Womack. … Times are always fast at the McIntosh Nature Preserve’s Asics Invitational, but this year’s event yielded an especially remarkable performance. Peachtree Ridge junior Josh Brickell broke the 15:00 mark with a time of 14:59.02, leading his Lions to a runner-up finish in the Championship division. It was a personal record for Brickell, who had previously clocked a 15:02 last month in Titusville, Fla. Lakeside-Evans held off Peachtree Ridge 47 points to 71 with five point-scorers in the top 17 and three in the top eight. Sid Vaughn came in second place for the triumphant Panthers with a time of 15:25 and teammate Chase Fowers delivered a fourth-place performance in 15:46. Zane Coburn of Grady was third in 15:36. … Despite going up against a Championship field loaded with Class AAAA and AAAAA schools, Westminster’s girls coasted past the competition at the Asics Invitational. The Wildcats put for runners in the top 16 overall, good for a team score of 65 points that was well ahead of runner-up Peachtree Ridge (100 points) and third-place North Gwinnett (153 points). Sahara Fletcher (third in 18:17) and Michelle Sullivan (ninth in 19:09) paced Westminster to victory. An absolute thriller of an individual race saw Sarah Bowles of Lakeside-Evans beat out Allie Buchalski of Johns Creek 18:10.48 to 18:10.49. … This week’s cross country action will begin with a bang at the Buford Invitational, in which Buford will host a strong field that also includes Decatur, Gainesville, Lovett and Westminster. Saturday’s huge meet at Mill Creek, The Coach Wood Invitational, will feature Alpharetta, Brookwood, Lakeside-Evans, Marist, Milton, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, Pope, St. Pius and Walton. The Winder-Barrow Invitational welcomes Druid Hills, Galloway and Landmark Christian among many others on Saturday.