Preview of the 5A Cross Country Championships

Decatur's Top Guns Gonzalez and McNally

(photo by Dan McCauley)

Boys Team (by Eric Daugherty)

The best programs in class AAAAA will once again descend upon Carrollton one last time in 2019 for what should be a highly competitive State Championship this Friday (11/1).  On paper, the Decatur boys led by their front running trio of Gonzalez, McNally, and Carlton, look like they only need to show up to the starting line healthy to win, but state championships are not won on paper and there are plenty of quality teams that will be giving chase. 

Defending state champions Starrs Mill look to once again place themselves in the hunt for a high podium finish with their solid pack running and state championship experience. However, their lack of multiple front-runners may keep them out of the top spot.  Loganville led by state champion contender Anthanasius Tesfaye, looks to cap off a record setting season by the Red Devils.  Grady, Rome, and Carrollton all have the front-runner and pack depth to challenge for a podium spot as well.  Rounding out the top 10 in some order should be Union Grove, Clarkston, McIntosh, and Locust Grove.  If any of those teams falter, look for Riverwood, Johnson, and Woodland-Cartersville to jump into the top 10.  

Boys Individual

Christian Gonzalez of Decatur

(photo by Dan McCauley)

The individual race favorite would have to be Christian Gonzalez of Decatur based upon his body of work this Fall.  He should be joined in the lead pack by teammate Eoin Mcnally, Carrollton's Colin Jones, who will be running in front of the home crowd and has the fastest time on the Carrollton course this season (16:29),  defending state champion Domonic Macias of Union Grove, and Anthansius Tesfaye of Loganville.  Fighting for the remaining all-state honors should include; Bram Mansbach of Grady, Patrick Motes of Rome, Will Carlton of Decatur,  Joseph Muzzillo of Starrs Mill, and Thaddee Barge of Clarkston. 

Eoin McNally of Decatur

(photo by Dan McCauley)

Athanasius Tesafaye of Loganville

Domonic Macias of Union Grove

(photo by Dan McCauley)

Joseph Muzzillo of Stars Mill

Bram Mansbach of Grady

Thaddee Barge of Clarkston

Girls Team (by Claude Spinks)

Barring a collapse, the McIntosh girls will win the AAAAA title. Probably with a very low score. They have been #1 from start of the season and have not faltered. The race for the next 3 podium spots comes down to Union Grove, Starr's Mill and Woodland. Union Grove has improved all season and sport the returning state runner-up in Gabby Parsons. Starr's Mill has been consistently near the top of AAAAA but ran without their #1 at region. If she is healthy, they can be the #2 team at state. Woodland gets a big boost in the return of Carli Clymer. She joins potential best in Georgia, McKenna Trapheagan and great #2 Rylee Evans, to form a potent trio that will challenge for the spot behind Mcintosh.  The rest of the top 10 will be up for grabs as well. Should any top team have an off day, Riverwood or Rome could snag a podium spot. Jones County, featuring Laney Doster, will be a factor in as will be Grady and Loganville. 

Girls Individual

McKenna Trapheagen of Woodland

Much like the team race, the individual title has a prohibitive favorite in McKenna Trapheagan of Woodland. McKenna will be on a lot of Georgia Runner of the Year lists and deservedly so. She has run in number of races with top flight fields and has run well in each of them. After Mckenna it gets interesting. There are at least 10 girls with a shot at a spot on the podium. Last year's runner-up, Gabby Parsons of Union Grove upset Laney Doster of Jones County. Those two will battle Mackenzie Walls of Veterans and Rylee Evans of Woodland for the top 10 spots. Others that can finish most anywhere in the top 10 are Kayla Rose of McIntosh, Elle Mezzio of Riverwood, Megan Uszynski of McIntosh. Girls who will also contend for podium spots include Darby Olive of Starr's Mill, Lucy Yeomans of Clarke Central and Bianca Parsons of Union Grove. 

Mackenzie Walls of Veterans HS

(photo by Dan McCauley)

Gabby Parsons and Bianca Parsons of Union Grove

Laney Doster of Jones County

Rylee Evans of Woodland

Megan Uszynski of McIntosh