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Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Alexander seniors Koi Williams, Mekhi Williams and Austin Muse swept the first three spots at Thursday's Region 5-AAAAAA Cross Country Championship to lead the Cougars to the title.

It is becoming commonplace for Alexander to sweep a region boys and girls title in cross country.

The Cougars took home the Region 5-AAAAAA titles on Thursday at Clinton Nature Preserve. It is the third straight season that Alexander has won both titles.

The boys team got its fourth straight, and 17th overall region title while the girls have won three straight, 10 overall titles in school history.

“They ran great,” Alexander coach Brian Robinson said. “Overall, it was a good day for us.”

In addition, senior Koi Williams went 15 minutes, 37.6 seconds to take home the individual title as the Cougars swept the first three spots.

Williams’ twin brother, Mekhi, went 15:50 to place second and Austin Muse went 15:56 for third.

Junior Nick Albanese went 17:01 for fifth and freshman Amir Dayal went 17:03 for sixth place.

“That (race) really hurt,” Williams said. “I was on pace the entire race but went out a little too fast. I’m okay with my time and definitely happy about the team win. We haven’t raced in two weeks. We have been saving up for this moment.”

Koi Williams was just off his personal-best time of 15:36.6, which he ran a couple weeks ago at Fox Hall Sporting Club.

“This race was very encouraging for the entire team,” Williams said. “It gives us some confidence going into the state meet next week.”

The Cougars are the defending state champions, but graduated its top two runners from a year ago.

“I definitely think we are a contender,” Muse said. “We are happy with this region championship, but we know state is going to be a lot different.”

Alexander compiled 17 points, two points off a perfect score.

Northgate was runner-up at 40 points and New Manchester qualified for state with a third-place finish.

The Jaguars were led by Kevin Bradley, who went 17:40 to place 14th overall.

On the girls’ side, Alexander had 18 points to place ahead of Northgate, which compiled 58 points.

The Cougars were led by senior Brenda Ayuk, who went 18:27 to take the individual title.

“I’m definitely pleased because a year ago, I couldn’t even finish the race,” Ayuk said. “I just had to prepare myself mentally for this, and put the rest in God’s hands.”

Douglas County qualified for state with a third place finish and New Manchester edged out South Paulding for a state berth.

Alexander sophomore Kennedy Crawford was runner-up at 19:24 while New Manchester sophomore Alexia Allen went 19:44 to place third.

“I thought we really did well,” said Alexander senior Cynthia Lopez-Jordan, who placed fourth overall. “We have worked so hard for this. I thought everybody ran great.”

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