Georgia MS Cross Country State Championships Preview

Fans will love the new 'Land Bridge' at Bleckley instead of traversing thru the big ditch!

MS State Preview

The MS State Championship began 10 years ago with only 11 teams and 216 athletes. Since that time, it has grown exponentially (especially from 2008) when covered the meet. Now, its no surprise that nearly 100 squads, almost 2100 runners (including over 50 individual entries) gather every 3rd Saturday down in Cochran, for quite a festival like atmosphere with great southern hospitality. The only thing missing is maybe a good local Country/Southern rock band playing on the awards stand, lol. There are now 3 separate divisions including:

Large School- 5A thru 7A 

Medium School- 3A-4A

Small School- 1A-2A (largest race)

Each division now has its own Mixed JV race due to growth of the meet. Races begin at 8am.

Race Preview

Its difficult to gauge what teams will be top contenders, because of the many race distances MS courses in Georgia may be. The runners who have 2 Mile and maybe an XC 5K under their belt, could have an advantage on those who mainly race at 3000m and shorter tracks. 

Small School Boys

This will be the largest Championship race of the day. Team contenders are hard to judge, but you can count on a few programs to be strong every year such as Holy Innocents (2015 Champs), Cornerstone Christian, Bleckley County MS, Hebron Christian, Georgia Military Prep, Darlington,  George Walton and Paideia.

Individual Contenders:

Zack Truitt of Landmark Christian

Sam Tullis of Darlington

Miguel Schlict of Cornerstone Christian

Mack Howe of Wesleyan

Colin McCabe from Georgia Military

Elijah McCauley of Paideia

Vitaly Loop of Riverside Military

Small School Girls

For Small School Girls, Hebron Christian will be back to defend their 2015 title. But, will be chased hard by Holy Innocents *who won the Best Overall Program Award in 2015. Also in the team mix for those HUGE trophies could be: Cornerstone Christian, Paideia, host school Bleckley MS (who beat Medium School power Malcom Bridge on their turf), Oglethorpe County MS, George Walton and Darlington.

Individual Contenders:

Hannah Miniutti of St. Francis MS

Jennifer Woolerey of Providence Christian

Maggie Jones of Landmark Christian 

Jordan Walter of Paideia

Emily Raeside of Great Strides

Hayden Puitt of Holy Innocents

Ansley Long of Trinity Christian 

Zoie Marchant of Jeff Davis MS 

Madelyn Davis of First Presbyterian Day

Medium School Boys

2015 Champ Westminster (ATL), put together a team days before the meet, but have chosen to not make the trip this Fall. Marist has won the title a few times and was runnerup last season. If one looks at the Virtual meet article its going to be very competitive with top contenders being: Lovett, Marist, Cartersville MS, Clear Creek MS, Malcom Bridge MS and Hart County MS.

Individual Contenders:

Al Coy of Lovett

Andrew Jones of North Hall MS

Lane Hollis from NW Whitfield

Davis Potts of Malcom Bridge 

Justin Wachtel of Mary Persons 

Joshua Barker of Clear Creek MS

Joe Urbanowicz of Lovett

Bill Archer from Cartersville

Jakob Dobbs of Clear Creek

Medium School Girls

Marist's low key MS program has made a tradition of swooping down to Cochran with a top 7, snatching the top awards and motoring back to ATL. Its very possible though, that with Lovett moving up in class, the War Eagles could get pushed, including Cartersville, Clear Creek MS, Hart County and Malcom Bridge.

Individual Contenders:

Jewelee Love of East Jackson MS 

Elle Mezzio of Sutton MS

Kelsey Morse of Malcom Bridge MS

Laura Romig of Pace 

Lily Murray of Marist 

Rabin Kitchin of Marist

Caroline Duncan of Malcom Bridge

Large School Boys

In 2015, Burney Harris-Lyons from Athens pulled a whopper of an upset, taking the Large School Boys team title. Top contenders per the 2 Mile (current season average time) make these schools top contenders including:  Dean Rusk, Woodland Euharlee(2nd in 2015), ET Booth MS, Vickery Creek MS, Lakeside MS (Cumming), Tift MS and Burney Harris Lyons.

Individual Contenders:

Tate Ellingson of ET Booth MS

Sully Shelton unattached 

JD Bengston of Tift MS 

Nick Trujillo of Dean Rusk MS

Graham Lee of Woodland Euharlee

Josh Macklin of Lee County MS

Evan Minor of McConnell MS 

Mark Martin of Piney Grove MS

Anthony Arredondo of Chapel Hill MS

Large School Girls

It should come a no big surprise, that Woodland Euharlee has a strong program. Just take a look at their #1 ranked HS team! Woodland will be back to defend their title, but could get a challenge from several Metro area schools, including: Dean Rusk MS, ET Booth, Vickery Creek and Lakeside (Cumming) 

Individual Contenders:

Makena Gates of Creekview 

Katelyn McLean of Vickery Creek

Caroline Pearce of ET Booth

Ryley Evans of Woodland Euharlee

Meg Lance of ET Booth

Clara Heppner of Alpha Crush 

Gracie Woods of Coffee MS

Race Schedule:

8:00 a.m. 5th grade and below(1 mile)- girls and boys together

8:30 a.m. SMALL School "JV" race(girls & boys run together)

9:00 a.m. SMALL School Boys' Championship Race(Top 7)

9:30 a.m. SMALL School Girls' Championship Race(top 7)

10:00 a.m. MEDIUM School "JV" race(girls & boys run together)

10:30 a.m. MEDIUM School Boys' Championship Race(Top 7)

11:00 a.m. MEDIUM School Girls' Championship Race(Top 7)

11:30 a.m. LARGE School "JV" race(girls & boys run together)

12:00 p.m. LARGE School Boys' Championship Race(Top 7)

12:30 p.m. LARGE School Girls' Championship Race(Top 7)

 Awards given out as soon as results are finalized