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Lovejoy runs away with title

By Doug Gorman

The Lovejoy Wildcats simply own the Clayton County Cross Country meet in both the boys and girls divisions.

Tuesday afternoon at The Atlanta Beach, little changed as both the boys and girls' squads captured the team championships.

For the Lovejoy boys team, it was the 14th straight title. The Lady Wildcats have been almost as dominant, winning the crown for the 13th out of the last 14 tries.

"Coach (Richard) Westbrook started this thing, and it has sort of spilled over for me," said current Lovejoy coach Bill Zerressen. "We have a dedicated group of runners."

Lovejoy placed four runners among the top seven in the boys meet, and three runners in the top seven in the girls division.

Individually, Morrow senior Tyson Bonner, who ran the course in 17:10, won the boys' title for the second straight year. LLonisha Lee, a senior at Lovejoy who didn't start running cross country until this year, captured first place for the girls.

"I give all the credit to God for helping me win this," said Bonner. "I made it my goal to win the meet again this year. It feels really good to be able to do it in my senior year."

For Lee, winning the girls division was an added bonus to an already good season.

"My times just keep getting better," said Lee. "Until this year, I really hadn't thought about running cross country. I did it just to help me get in shape for track."

The top seven finishers in each division were designated all-county.

Joining Bonner has an all-county selection in the boys division were Anthony Diaz (Lovejoy?17:28), Bryson Pullins (Lovejoy?17:44), Eric Brown (Jonesboro?18:09), Matthew Wise (Lovejoy?18:11), David Sparkman (Lovejoy?18:56) and Nick Jordan (Morrow-19:04)

In addition to Lee, Anka Van Wyk (Jonesboro?23:34), Tyshee Nester (Morrow?24:08), Karen Jackson (Lovejoy?24:27), Brittany Holden (Lovejoy?24:26) Cherrell Lawson (Mt. Zion?24:16) and Trinesha Smith (Mundy's Mill?25:19) all earned all-county in the girls division.