Preview of the 2013 Cobb County Cross Country Championships


                                   Cobb County Championships Preview

Girls Team Preview:

The Harrison girls come into the meet with the highest ranking (#5 All-Class, #4 6A) and bring the best pack of runners.  The Lady Hoyas won the title in 2011 and look to reclaim it by taking down the defending champion Lady Raiders of Walton.  Walton (#8 All-Class, #7 6A) will be led by Avery Bussjager and can give the ladies from Harrison a fight if their pack can stay close.  Marietta (6A watch list), Pope (5A #5), Allatoona, and Hillgrove look to fight it out for the final podium spot.  The #4 and #5 runners for each team will make or break each team’s chances.  There should be a very good battle between Mount Paran (#9 A Private) and Walker (#8 A Private), as these two fight it out with the big schools and battle each other for top small school honors.

Girls Individual Preview:
Avery Bussjager of Walton appears to be the favorite for the individual title with a victory at UGA and two runner-up finishes already this season.  She has the top time in 6A this fall and the fastest 1600m (5:04) and 3200m (11:12) times of the girls in the field.  But it won’t be easy with Ashley Kehoe of Pope having blazed multiple sub 19 performances this season.  With Tyra Holloway of North Cobb MIA this season, Claire Warren of Hillgrove is the highest returning finisher from last year’s meet and will look to be in the front pack as well.  Mary Jeanne Assinzo of Marietta has shown some great performances in the young XC season and has by far the best track speed, which can come into play on the long stretch to the finish at the Corps Property.  Kennedy Sorge (Harrison), Breck Jones (North Cobb Christian), Christie Sanders (Walton), and Mattie Rountree (Harrison) have all broken the 20 minute barrier on 5ks this fall and should be in the mix.

Boys Team Preview:

The Walton Raiders (#9 6A) come in as defending champions, but the Harrison Hoyas (#3 All-Class, #3 6A) looks like the team to beat.  The Hoyas have not only a tight pack, but a fast one that will be hard for any team in the county to break-up.  The young squad from Marietta (#7 6A) is most likely to sneak up on the Hoyas.  The Blue Devils have picked up right where their senior laden team from 2012 left off and should improve more and more each week.  The aforementioned Raiders of Walton have one of the top individuals in Kenan Farmer, but will need to do some work from 2 to 5 to get into the hunt for the big trophy.  North Cobb and Kennesaw Mountain (both 6A Watch list) look like the teams most likely to challenge for a team trophy.  North Cobb Christian (#9 A Private) looks to be the favorite in the small school battle, but should get a challenge from Walker and Mount Paran.

Boys Individual Preview:

2013 3200m State Champion Kenan Farmer comes in as a favorite.  He has a victory at UGA, the top returning finish from 2012 (4th), and the top times in track (4:15 full mile, 9:11 3200m).  However, Logan Poteet of Kell has been on fire this season.  While starting with a runner-up to Farmer at UGA, Logan defeated 4A defending champion Michael Thurston of Marist (who beat Farmer at Double Dip) at the Warpath Invitational in Cobb County best time of 15:39 and followed it up with a win at the Atlanta Classic last week.  Alex Dunlap of Kennesaw Mountain and Joey Carr of Mount Paran come in as the next best finishers from the 2012 meet, finishing 5th and 6th respectively.  Expect both in the top 10 as well as a slew of runners from Harrison, including Ryan Brock, Adam Watt, Spencer Borchelt, and Dylan Elmy.  Brent Starks and Conner Head of Hillgrove have also run some good times this season.  Khayvonn Benson and Jack Henderson should lead the Blue Devils run for a trophy and could run themselves into the top 10.