Commerce Boys Shine In A Public Boys Race Behind Martin

Commerce Boys 

(photos by Marc logan)


Champ Brandon Martin

Coming into the race, on paper it appeared to be a showdown of south GA power Schley County and the 'King of the North' Commerce. The big difference between the 2 squads is where they raced and who they had faced. The competition in the NE Georgia area is much tougher and hillier. Commerce used that to their advantage, placing 3 runners in the top 5 and clobbered the field scoring 31 points for a 53 point margin of victory. The Tigers took control of the race early and were 1,2,3 beginning loop 2. Overall Champ Brandon Martin split the Mile at 5:12 and 2 Mile around 10:40? He went on to clock a sweet time of 17:02 (especially in A Public) Demarco Hernandez took runnerup honors posting a 17:34 with JJ Morris taking 5th in 18:21

There was a great team battle going on for the next 3 Podium spots though.. and Schley County emerged as runnerups by 1 point over Lake Oconee Academy. David Williams was the top runner for Schley placing 3rd overall at 18:14. Lake Oconee had 2 runners make the All-State team, including Jack Miller finishing 7th overall (18:31) and Kendal Clark 10th (18:44) Towns County is as north as a GA squad can come, with Brasstown Bald Mountain (4783 feet elevation) minutes away. They finished in 4th only 2 points behind Lake Oconee with Liam King placing 8th going 18:31. Jayden Causey of Drew Charter had a good race placing 4th overall clocking a 18:20.

Runnerup Demarco Hernandez

David Willams of Schley

  Jayden Causey

JJ Morris

A Public Boys All-State Team

1Brandon Martin11Commerce17:02.851
2Demarco Hernandez12Commerce17:34.822
3David Williams11Schley County High18:14.363
4Jayden Causey10Drew Charter Senior Academy18:20.094
5JJ Morris11Commerce18:21.475
6Jaquez Jones11Baconton Charter18:29.050
7Jack Miller11Lake Oconee Academy18:31.496
8Liam King11Towns County HS18:31.637
9Dawson Brown11Trion18:37.228
10Kendal Clark12Lake Oconee Academy18:44.959

Team Champs ACE Charter


Gracie O'Neal of Gordon Lee HS was not to be denied in the final race of her GHSA career. The 3-time champ made mincemeat out of the field, taking the lead shortly after the gun, turning right and after she disapeared down the creek portion of the course was never to be seen again by the pack. O'Neal cruised the 2nd loop and crossed the mats in 20:14.  Freshman Paden Bell of Commerce led the Tigers to a 2nd place team finish posting a 21:46. 

Champ Gracie O'Neal

Runnerup Paden Bell

The team race was much like the boys, except a little closer. ACE Charter out of Macon won their first GHSA XC title in school history scoring 71 points. The Gryphons' were led by Jr. Katelyn Taylor who placed 7th overall also earning an All-State nod. Georgia Military Prep had a solid race ending up taking 3rd on the Podium besting 2018 champ Telfair County by 5 points having better mid-depth. Jada Warren was the top harrier for the Bulldogs placing 8th overall at 23:24. Telfair County had 2 girls finish in top 4 spot, including Sr. Paige White in 3rd place at 22:30 with Shayla Cook not far behind in 22:34

Shayla Cook of Telfair & Katelyn Taylor of ACE Charter

Paige White of Telfair

Kensi Stevens of Lake Oconee

A Public Girls All-State Team

1Gracie O'Neal12Gordon Lee High School20:14.991
2Paden Bell9Commerce21:46.152
3Paige White12Telfair County HS22:30.413
4Shayla Cook11Telfair County HS22:34.114
5Kensi Stevens9Lake Oconee Academy22:55.030
6Brett Landing11Jenkins Co. High School22:57.285
7Katelyn Taylor11ACE Charter23:18.126
8Jada Warren10Georgia Military College Prep School23:24.907
9Anna Robbins11Atlanta Classical Academy23:44.960
10Alison Markham10Towns County HS24:06.868