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Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Freshman Amir Dayal and junior Nick Albanese will play a key role in how well Alexander does at Saturday's Class AAAAAA Cross Country Championship in Carrollton.

While the Alexander boys cross country team looks to defend its Class AAAAAA title, the girls have a shot at making history.

With the return of every runner from last year’s eighth-place finish, the Cougars’ girls team looks to move into a position to win their first state title.

Alexander is led by senior Brenda Ayuk, who won the Region 5-AAAAAA title in leading leading the team to the championship. Ayuk is the defending 800-meters track champion and appearance to be running with a lot of confidence heading to the state meet.

“I think our girls have a shot at being on the podium,” Alexander coach Brian Robinson said. “They are in the running for the title. We have seen everybody in the state, and they have a good shot a very successful meet.”

In addition to Ayuk, the Cougars look for sophomore Kennedy Crawfordm Cynthia Lopez-Jordan, Alexandria Stevens, Jazzmine Taylor and Camryn Curtis to help push them to the top.

“It is very exciting and we look forward to the race,”Ayuk said. “I think we have a good shot if we all run our best.”

The boys race will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Carrollton Course adjacent to Carrollton High. The girls race starts at 11:15 a.m. with the awards ceremonies to follow.

In addition, today’s Class A private-school meet in Carrollton will feature some runners from the county that attend Landmark Christian. Sophomore Erin Fegans and senior Sarah Foreman look to lead the War Eagles to their fourth straight championship.

Freshman Zack Truitt has been the boys’ leading running and will look to lead to its third straight title. The boys race is at 10:30 a.m. with the girls to follow at 11:15 a.m.

While the boys are the defending champions, they are without two of their main runners from last season. Individual champion Braeden Collins and Tyler Whorton are now freshmen at Georgia Tech.

The Cougars have been led all year by the Williams twins - Koi and Mekhi - alone with Austin Muse. All three are seniors and played a big role in last year’s championship.

Koi Williams, who won the region championship, has led the team all season.

However, the teams hopes of a repeat will depend on how well the No. 4 and 5 runners do on Saturday. Freshman Amir Dayal and junior Nick  have filled those spots alone with Kameron Jones.

“I really feel they will do well at state,” Robinson said. “If we get what we have been getting from our top three and the others come through, it will be a close finish.”

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