GA MS State XC Championships Team Competition Preview
This Georgia MS State Championship thing continues to grow each season as 77 teams, 47 individuals and 1247 total athletes are slated to be compete this Saturday in Cochran. Ga.MileSplit has helped promote the meet dating back to 2009 and its now a monster with up to 3000 folks attending including athletes. I urge you to get a t-shirt early, or you could waiting in line for 1/2 hour after the Small School events. The feature races are the Large School Championship beginning at 10am and the Small School races at 11am. Comparing teams is extremely difficult as the MileSplit database doesn't calculate MS Team Rankings and 4 different distances have been contested including 2500m, 3000m, 3200m and the 2 Mile (which the new Bleckley Elementary course has been wheeled at or very close to 2 Miles) 29 full small school squads will duke it out and 21 large school teams (guestimate) Also, please don't take offense if your favorite team isn't mentioned, as evaluating MS teams is best left to dataholic in his spare time, lol. Thanks for understanding.
'Large School Teams'
Gainesville is the defending 2012 Boys Champ and a new champion will be crowned on the Girls side as powerhouse Marist is not registered as of this article. Large School teams have been extremely difficult to gauge this season as many 4A-6A feeder public Middle Schools do not have XC Programs. I would look for the schools from the Cobb County area like Lovingood, Lost Mountain, McClure boys, Pine Mountain to do well, former champ Woodland Euharlee to challenge, Oak Hill is very good in Track and the River Ridge boys could contest. From the south, Valdosta and Lee County's boys, and Colquitt and Tift's girls should place well. Mary Persons won both team titles at Rock Ranch.
'Small School Teams'
The feature races of the morning will definitely be 'Small Schools' as there are tons of private schools with very active and strong feeder programs. The small school girls race will be loaded with both girls and boys with outstanding times this year and the competition should be fierce. Host Bleckley County always seems to perform well at this meet and place in or around the top 5.
Athens Academy and cross county rival ACS have hooked up a couple times, most lately at Ga.MileSplit MS Challenge as Athens Academy prevailed by narrow margins in both meets (one at ACS, one at AA) Landmark Christian's top 3 8th graders have competed in numerous HS JV 5k's this season (all going sub 21) and if they have decent 4,5 runners will be a definite threat to take the title. Lovett won the team title at Battle of Atlanta besting a Decatur (Renfroe MS squad?) Paideia beat Decatur at Golden Eagle last Saturday. Lovett should compete well being the top small school squad at Battle of Atlanta. Woodward also is not be counted out having a good program.
Hart County is signed up (but has not added athletes to their entry) Early in the season at NEGA, they beat ACS handily, who have won/placed 2nd at many large MS Invites including being Champs of the GaMileSplit MS Challenge. Holy Innocents and Pace Academy are evenly matched looking at Darlington where they finished 2nd,3rd. Decatur had an edge on Padeia at Golden Eagle last week. Lovett should compete well being the top small school squad at Battle of Atlanta. Former champ Malcom Bridge is a definite threat to win the title after 2 wins at large weekday meets hosted by Athens Academy. Woodward also is not be counted out having a good program.