This is the 7th edition of the state middle school cross country championships. What started out as a dream about 10 years ago has become a bigger reality than I ever imagined. I always thought with Cochran being in the center of the state that it would be neat to have a meet that no one would have to travel from one end of the state to the other to participate in. We have teams/individuals from every part of the state coming to the meet again this year, and it looks like we are going to have a record number of teams participate this year. We are pretty evenly divided with small schools and large schools coming, and Bleckley County is excited that so many people will be coming to town this Saturday. We have a fall festival-type event going on in downtown Cochran Saturday, so I hope that maybe some of the people who come to the meet will stop by town before they leave to see what is going on there.
It is great to see kids in high school now who ran in the state middle school races when they were in middle school. As a coach, it is fun to follow these kids from middle school to high school and to see how they progress as their running career moves from the middle school to the high school level. I remember Sahara Fletcher winning the state middle school individual title when she was in the 8th grade and to see her follow that up with 3 individual high school state titles has been pretty fun to watch. We will see if she can make it 4 high school titles in a row this year. When we started this meet, the main intent was to give middle school cross country runners across the state the chance to come together at one meet and compete against the best runners on the same course. This race is for every middle school runner who wants to participate, something that can't happen on the high school level because of participation limitations. For many kids, this may be the only state cross country meet they ever get to participate in, and we want it to be as special for them as it is for anyone else. We look forward to a great day Saturday with great weather and great competition. Hope to see you in Cochran!!
Coach Shelley Cranford Meet Director/Head Coach Bleckley County HS XC