GHSA AAAAAA State Meet Preview

Boys AAAAAA Preview

Team Race For the Win:

#1 ranked and 6A undefeated Pope Greyhounds are the favorite to take home the top spot, but not as much as they may have been a month ago.   #2 ranked Cambridge Bears have been hard charging since Early Oct. and almost upset them at Region 7, losing by a mere 4 points.  When these 2 teams saw each other in late August, Pope won by 26.

Fighting for the Podium:

Take your pick: Alexander, Harrison, Creekview, Richmond Hill all have a chance to finish 3rd.  Alexander and Richmond Hill are very good teams that have Podium experience, but not much head to head results against other top 6A teams this season.  Harrison is an up and down team with 3 big wins this season, but have some bad losses as well.  Creekview has been running well of late, narrowly missing a Region 6 win.

Rounding out the Top 10:

So many teams are running well when it counts.  Any of Northview, Alpharetta, Allatoona, Dacula, Dalton, Greenbrier or Gainesville could upset the above teams and possible find themselves on the final spot of the Podium. 

Saturday's race could be sunny and warm. So, besides who can handle the hills of Carrollton the best, it may come down to who can handle the rough conditions as well. This is a deep 6A field and the results will be exc

                                                                      Pre State Team Rankings

The Individual Race

Allatoona's Adrian Hernandez is the favorite to win.  After finishing 3rd in last year's race, he the top returner for 2017.  He has victories at Berry, Cobb County, Coach Wood and Region 6.  He is averaging 15:43 for the year.  

Cambridge's Jack Filan is the top Jr in 6A this year.  Jack finished 24th in last years State Meet. After a win at Region 7, he is a top contender.  Jack has top 5 finishes this season at Covered Bridge, West Orange Inv and was 6th in the highly competitive Alexander/Asics Inv.  Jack is averaging 16:18 for the year.

Alpharetta's Robert Chappell was runner up in Region 7.  Robert was 14th in last year's State Meet.  Robert has wins at Zack Wansley and Covered Bridge and has finished top 6 in all of his races this season.  Robert is the only other 6A boy with a sub 16:00 avg on the season.

Alexander's Koi Williams is the Region 4 Champion and no stranger to the podium as he finished 5th in last year's race.  Koi has 2 other victories this season: Big Peach Mustang Stampede and the Douglas Co Championships. Koi is averaging 16:02 for the season.

Lakeside Evans' Mark White is the Region 3 Champion and has 3 other big wins to his credit this season: Battle of Atlanta, Augusta Prep & Aubrea Gunderson.  Mark finished 7th in last years meet and has a season average of 16:25.

Richmond Hill's Jalen Murray is the Region 2 champion.  Jalen has 2 other victories at Fishy Invite and the Frazier-Hite Inv.  He was also runner up at 2 others.  Jalen has a season avg of 16:31 and expect him to make a big jump from his 31st place finish a year ago.

Other boys who could find their way into the top 10 are:

Mekhi Williams, Alexander, 2nd Region 5

Robert Zell, River Ridge, 2nd Region 6

Jacob Brennaman, Pope, 3rd Region 7

Sully Shelton, Harrison, 3rd Region 6

Mugisha Beinvenu, Gainesville, 1st Region 8

Adan Rodriguez, Dalton, 4th Region 6 (6th at 2016 State)

Austin Muse, Alexander, 3rd Region 5


Team Race For the Win:

The battle for the top spot of the podium will be tighter than once expected.  Creekview upset defending Region/State Champion Harrison for their 1st loss by a 6A team since early in the 2016 season.  While it was a narrow win, it shows the Lady Hoyas vulnerability.  But can Creekview overcome Harrison's depth in larger race which favors the defending champs. If those two are watching, the Lady Bears from Cambridge have been hard charging of late and could sneak up and beat both of them.  And don't forget about Alexander's Lady Cougars as they have put together quite a back half of a season scoring just 18 points at their Region meet.

Fighting for the Podium:

In 2016, Region 7 held 3 of the Podium spots, so we lest we forget about the toughest Region in 6A: Johns Creek, Alpharetta and Dunwoody.  All 3 teams will make a very hard charge to get back to the trophy Stand.

Rounding out the Top 10:

Region Champs should never be counted out, so watch out for Dacula, Lakeside Evans and Richmond Hill to make a run at the top 10.  Heritage gave Lakeside Evans a big fight at Region so they could make a move too.  And don't buck the Lady Bucs of Allatoona.  With a good day, they could make the top 10 as well.

The Individual Race

Creekview's Nyah Hernandez is the defending Triple Crown State Champ.  She defended her Region title and also won the Berry Clara Bowl Inv.  Nyah is averaging 18:44 for the season.  Her biggest threat is also her teammate.

Creekview's Makena Gates is the Region 6 runner up, but has 3 victories of her own and over her teammate: Carrollton Inv, Warpath Inv & Cherokee Co.  Makena is averaging 18:37 for year so far.

Brenda Ayuk of Alexander is threat to take the top spot.  She has averaged 19:09 while taking victories at Region 5, Bob Blastow, Carrollton & Douglas Co.  

Other top 5 Contenders:
Dacula's Skylar English is the Region 8 champ and boasts a 19:12 avg for the season.  Skylar finished 3rd in last years meet.

Harrison's Kayli Moody has had a solid season.  She was 3rd at Region 6 and has a 19:37 avg.  Kayli was 15th in the 2016 race.

Kira Stanley of Harrison is the 2016 State Runner up in XC and the 1600m and is averaging 19:52.

Cambridge's Ashley Sechrest has had a very good 2nd half of the season.  She is the Region 7 champ and has wins at Kodiak Classic and Covered Bridge.  Ashley has a season average of 20:03.

Other girls who could find their way into the top 10 are:

Kayla Gholar, Richmond Hill, 1st Region 2
Jada Banks, Heritage, 1st Region 3
Allison Rothrock, Johns Creek, 2nd Region 7 (8th in 2016)
Kennedy Crawford, Alexander, 2nd Region 5
Samantha Cameron, Dunwoody, 3rd Region 7 (10th in 2016)