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Monday July 6th, 2015 9:32AM

Cross Country: Falcons soar back into state; Branch boys win 8-AAAAA

By staff
CONYERS -- The Flowery Branch boys cross country team is headed back to state as a region champion, while the Lady Falcons finished as runners-up on Thursday at the Region 8-AAAAA championships in Conyers.

The Falcons placed six of their runners inside the top 10 to blow away the field, sprinting away from second place Winder-Barrow.

The Lady Bulldoggs held off the Lady Falcons in the girls race, however.

"I'm disappointed for the girls not at the girls," Flowery Branch coach Jimmy Sorrells said. "They've worked so hard, but I feel like they'll bounce back at state. They're focused on that race, and that's really more important for us."

The Falcons boys will head to the state meet at Carrollton on Nov. 10 as one of the favorites in 8-AAAAA. Taylor Fiorello led Flowery Branch -- which won the Class AAAA crown in 2011 -- on Thursday, finishing third. Nick Ashmead was fourth, and Jake Shewbert was fifth.

James Slavik also finished eighth for the Falcons, Clayton Thayer ninth and Miguel Martinez 10th.

"I'm very happy for the boys," Sorrells said. "It was awesome to see them qualify again."

Cassie Ward paced the Flowery Branch girls, finishing second overall. Lauren Kirk, meanwhile, was fourth.

"I feel great about our chances next week," Sorrells said about the state meet. "I'm confident our team will rise to it."
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