Going into the final week of the season, AAAAA Boys appear to be one of the closer state races in recent memory, especially for the #3-10 spots. Starrs Mill still goes into the Championship as the meet favorite, but their momentum has slowed since mid-way through the season, as evidenced by their one point Region victory over rival Mcintosh. Mcintosh, now poses a legitimate threat to Starrs Mill's title hopes.. This was not the case a month ago.
The championship pedigree of the Clarkston Boys program has started to assert itself once again. After dropping out of the rankings at one point this season, they are sitting at the third spot and are always poised to upset on the Carrollton course should one of the top favorites falter. The final spot on the podium is completely up for grabs on paper. Teams such as Whitewater, Union Grove, Grady, and Clarke Central all are too closely packed to make a prediction at this point. Eagles Landing, Flowery Branch, and Chamblee look to round out the top 10 in some fashion.
Rankings are not a prediction of where teams will finish at the state meet but are based on how the teams ran at region. Some teams may have trained straight through region while others were putting everything they had into the region races to get to the state meet. Some put their full lineup together for the first time all season, or at least one of the few times all season.
One team that ran really well was McIntosh. Based on their region performance, they are the favorites to win it all Friday morning. Woodland has ran well the last few weeks and continued that trend when they perfect scored region. Will the competition on state meet day be enough to catch McIntosh or hold off Flowery Branch and Starr's Mill.? Year in and year out there are few teams that peak for state as well as Sorrell's Flowery Branch teams. Starr's Mill is a program on the rise, but the gap between them and region rival McIntosh was the biggest it has been all year. Were they just qualifying... Odd things normally happen at the state meet and although McIntosh seems to be the favorite, any of these 4 teams have the athletes to win it should another team falter.
The rest of the top 10 are a little harder to pin down. Jones Co now has 2 all-state contenders. Will that be enough for a high top 10 finish? Grady has shown flashes of a podium type team. Whitewater is the third Fayette Co Region 3 team in the rankings. Clarke Central runs their best race of the year to move into the top 10. Buford has started to run well each week over the second half of the season. Union Grove rounds out the top 10 after sitting 2 of their top 3 at region. How high do they go with those 2?
Erin Leonard of Jones County will be in the argument for Ga Runner of the Year. A low time at the state meet would help her towards that possibility, but Megan Uszynski of Mcintosh has emerged as a potential contender. After those 2 here are some of the girls looking for one of the top 10 spots: Erika Plummer of Flowery Branch, Elle Mezzio of Riverwood, Laney Doster of Jones County, Carli Clymer and Angela Cochran of Woodland, BEINING XIAO of Chamblee, Hannah Moore and Zoe Smith of Mcintosh, Haley Rose of Decatur and Darby Olive and Megan Dobso of Starr's Mill.