The Marist Gals took 2nd at Coach Benson Double Dip (pic by Matt Almand)
AAAA Girls will hit the State course after 7 races have competed, meaning they could face the worst conditions yet this Fall. Marist is a lock to take the team title unless 3 of their girls somehow do not finish the race.
Josie Wirtz of Marist is expected to contend for the Overall title (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Marist is the prohibitive favorite to repeat as AAAA State Champion this coming Saturday. Things are not so clear from 2-5 though. Its anyone's game if all these schools bring it. St. Pius X may have their work cut out for them, as North Oconee has a decent pack and depth. White County has the better frontrunners, Heritage-Catoosa runs tougher courses throughout the season. North Hall could sneak up on someone with course conditions looking to be sloppy...
2 good 8-AAAA squads didn't make it in, who may have finished in the top 10. Thus, the 7-10 spots are wide open with Eagles Landing having the upper hand after a team average of 21:39 at Nash Farms Battlefield. Grady could actually do as well as 5th, after a solid 22:05 average on Marist's tough Double Dip course. Watch out for Johnson HS out of Gainesville cracking the top 10.
Jenna Gearing from White County.
Its clear cut who the Individual favorite is coming into 11-7, but the scrum for the next 8 All-State squad slots are up for grabs, with nearly all of these gals running for crucial team points as well. Jenna Gearing of White County (18:00 season best) won the Overall AAA State title as a frosh and has an excellent opportunity to close out her GHSA XC career Saturday and taste victory again. Though, Josie Wirtz of Marist (18:50 @ FSU) has the talent & training to push Gearing to the limit Saturday.
Betty Jackson from Eagle's Landing at Battle of Atlanta (photo by Daniel McCauley)
With impending rain and 10 mph winds projected, the remaining All-State honors will be won by 'Mudders'. A few of the contenders include: Frosh Jaelen Alexander from White County (19:11 pr), Myriam Alvarez of Marist (19:21 @ Coach Wood), Sabrina Young of Pickens County (19:32), Sarah Buckler of Heritage-Catoosa (19:34 pr), Frosh Ellie Glenn and Jessica Tardy from St.Pius X, Mackenzie Morse and Gabby Huff-Streiter from North Oconee and Betty Jackson from Eagle's Landing just to mention a few... Take a look below of the top 25 best times from Region Madness!