Coming into Friday, it is anyone's race for the A Private team title and the Area 3 course at Heritage Christian Church just south of Peachtree City ain't Carrollton.. Area 2 raced at the tough Wesleyan home course, so throw out time comparisons. And, if any of the teams raced at Carrollton back on 9/8, toss that out as well as it was 7 weeks ago and ran in hot, hot conditions. The conditions at the State XC course are trying to be preserved by the Games Committee as they are allowing no teams to 'preview' the course walking or otherwise making this race very unpredictable.
Holy Innocents started off slowly this season, but when Senior Jackie Addy began her season at the Wingfoot XC Classic the Golden Bears put it in drive and began climbing the Rankings ladder. The lady Golden Bears' depth was a key factor in winning the Area 3 championship, making them the team to beat at State. HI will be facing Carrollton for the 1st time this season under less than perfect conditions Friday, but have raced at Double Dip and Wingfoot XC.
Atlanta International shot up the Rankings quickly in October and especially after their Area 3 performance in which they challenged a very large A Private school in Holy Innocents coming up short by only 4 points. Team leader, Reagan Mahoney, is joined by the Eagles #2, frosh Cara Joyce, who has incredibly improved by almost 5:30 minutes from her 1st meet at the Mercy Invitational! That is serious progress folks.
Wesleyan's gals had a great race on their home course, winning the Area 2 title by 44 points with a 1-5 Split of :52. I feel this will factor in at Carrollton, and if they run well, could make AIS and Holy Innocents sweat a little bit.
Landmark Christian finished 3rd at Area 3 only 12 points behind champ Holy Innocents. Look for Junior Erin Fegans to lead the charge for the War Eagles, but much will depend on their 2-5 runners. It will take a special effort for Coach Thorn's troops to win one last title for him Friday.
The "young" Pythons may be a year away from contending for A Private State titles. They have 2 front runners in Sophomore Jordan Walter and Freshman Luna McCauley. Unfortunately, the Pythons lost a 2017 MS State runner-up to Soccer. If their 3-5 runners have a good day at Carrollton, it could push them to 3rd/4th on the team Podium.
Athens Academy was really rocked hard by graduation losing Block and 2 other top girls. But the Lady Sparties' have rebounded and are back on track after placing 4th at the Area 2 tilt at Wesleyan.
Hebron Christian has re-loaded after not qualifying for the State meet in 2017. The lady Lions rose to 3rd at the Area 2 championships powered by their super frosh Brooke Browning taking the win.
Other Teams Battling to Move Up: Stratford Academy, Savannah Christian, Mount Paran Christian, Fellowship Christian and Walker.
The Individual Race:
Jackie Addy (SR) has been on a roll since winning Darlington on 9-29, Coach Wood with a pr of 17:49 and pulling away down the stretch at Area 3 going 18:26 for the win. (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Reagan Mahoney (JR) has 5 wins this season including at Mercy Invite, Covered Bridge, Aubrae Gunderson and a pr of 18:17 at ATL Classic. She is a contender for the title. (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Erin Fegans (JR) has 3 wins this Fall including those at Zack Wansley Clash and Rock Ranch Invite. She came very close to finishing 2nd at the Area 3 meet just behind Mahoney. (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Cara Joyce (FR) is quite a story this season having improved dramatically from a 24:18 at Mercy, to a pr at ATL Classic of 18:46! Her 4th place finish at Region pushed AIS to 2nd as a team. (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Brooke Browning (FR) picked up her first win of the season in timely fashion with a 21:28 at the Area 2 Championship on Wesleyan's tough layout. Browning pr'd at Coach Wood in 19:42.
Jordan Walter (SO) Could be a factor at Carrollton as she has ran well on tough courses (21:28- Milton) and (20:28-Double Dip) Walter pr'd at Alexander-Asics going 19:03. (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Luna McCauley (FR) Has been very consistent and enjoyed a terrific freshman season of XC. She's no stranger to hilly courses (like Walter) and sports a pr of 19:08 at Asics. (photo by Daniel McCauley)