Georgia Middle School State: History and Course Video

Course Video

If I am not mistaken, the cyclist in the video is the rabbit for all the races Saturday and deserves some props as he will log over 24 miles on race day! 

The State Middle School Cross Country Championships started in 2006, an event that Meet Director Shelly Cranford had dreamed about for many years, but never took the first steps to see it come to life. Finally, in 2006, he took the idea to then Superintendent, Dr. L.C." Buster" Evans to see what his thoughts were about Bleckley County being the host of a State Meet for middle school runners. Dr. Evans was on board from the start, pledging his full support for the event, and thus, the event began. Not only did Superintendent Evans lend his support, but he, along with Coach Shelly Cranford, and Coach Cranford's dad, Freeman Cranford, worked many hours creating the course at Bleckley County. It was built on land that the school board purchased to build a new elementary school, and later, a new high school. Only a few teams came that first year back in 2006, but it was a start, and since then, it has continually grown to the meet that it is today.    

Teams and individuals from all over the state make the trek every year to Cochran for this annual event. When runners cross the finish line, they are crossing the "Freeman D. Cranford Memorial Finish Line," named in memory and honor of Coach Cranford's father, who passed away in 2015. He was an avid Bleckley County Cross Country supporter for over 25 years, and his legacy will live on forever at the Bleckley County Cross Country Course.

There have been numerous Footlocker or Nike National qualifiers who have run in the state middle school championships when they were in middle school, and who knows who could be running Saturday that one day might go on to do great things as well later in their running career. This race, however, is about more than just the super fast. It is about a race that welcomes runners of all levels and gives them a chance to be a part of something big that happens in Cochran, Georgia every year during the month of October.  

Course Description: Several courses were used in the first 11 years. The present course has been in use since 2017. The original course was used from 2006 thru 2016. In 2017, the layout was altered, making the course more fan-friendly on the first mile, but the back part of the course actually got tougher. The course terrain consists primarily of grass (which has been cut very short making the course faster) and dirt. The first 800 meters is relatively flat with a 200-meter climb @ 800 m, followed by 250 meters downhill section. A short 20 meter steep uphill comes right past 1600 meter mark. Then comes the deceptively challenging rolling hills the next 800 meters. With 600 meters to go, comes the tough 250-meter hill that had some work done on it during the summer to alleviate washing issues when heavy rains come. The last 400 meters begins with a slight climb for 75 meters but is followed by a long, fast downhill descent for the next 250 meters, with runners emerging out of the woods, finishing up with an exciting 75-meter dash for glory, ending with a slight uphill climb to the finish line, with the barrier fence lined with screaming fans!


YearLarge School ChampsMedium School ChampsSmall School Champs
2019Woodland Euharlee - 12:50 avgJefferson MS - 12:42 avg.Holy Innocents - 12:36 avg.
2018Gainesville MS - 12:31 avg.Jefferson MS - 12:42 avg.Holy Innocents - 12:05 avg.
2017Richmond Hill MS - 12:23 avg.Pace Academy MS - 12:14 avg.Oglethorpe County MS - 12:20 avg.
2016South Forsyth MS - 12:00 avg.Lovett MS - 12:09 avg.Oglethorpe County MS - 12:29 avg.
2015Burney Harris Lyons - 12:31 avg.Westminster - 12:11 avg.Holy Innocents - 12:31 avg.
2014Marist - 12:20 avg.Holy Innocents - 12:10 avg.Landmark Christian - 12:18 avg.
2013Marist - 12:25 avg.
Holy Innocents - 12:50 avg.
2012Gainesville MS - 12:04 avg.
Holy Innocents - 12:17 avg.
2011Woodland Euharlee - 12:28 avg.
Bleckley County MS - 12:25 avg.
2010Woodward Academy - 11:34 avg
Bleckley County MS - 12:59 avg.
2009Woodward Academy

2008Woodward Academy - 12:25 avg

2007North Hall MS

2006North Hall MS


YearLarge School ChampsMedium School ChampsSmall School Champs
2019Dean Rusk MS - 14:17 avg.Marist - 13:35 avg.Bleckley County MS - 14:10 avg.
2018Loganville MS - 13:52 avg.Marist - 13:41 avg.George Walton - 14:10 avg.
2017Woodland Euharlee - 13:31 avgMarist - 13:57 avg.Holy Innocents - 13:45 avg.
2016ET Booth MS - 13:31 avg.Pace Academy MS - 13:56 avg.Holy Innocents - 13:59 avg.
2015Woodland Euharlee - 13:26 avgMarist - 13:53 avg.Hebron Christian - 13:53 avg.
2014Marist - 13:40 avg.Holy Innocents - 13:41 avg.Hebron Christian - 14:20 avg.
2013Marist - 14:09 avg.
Decatur MS - 13:46 avg.
2012Marist - 13:26 avg.
Renfroe MS - 13:36 avg.
2011Marist - 13:40 avg.
Holy Innocents - 13:26 avg.
2010Marist - 13:42 avg.
Holy Innocents - 13:52 avg.
2009Woodland Euharlee

2008Woodland Euharlee - 13:19 avg

2007Kennesaw Mtn.

2006Bleckley County MS

YearLarge SchoolTimeMedium SchoolTimeSmall SchoolTime
2019Teddy MeredithUNA11:41.79Gavin Ollis- UNA11:30.05Montana Archer- UNA11:33.84
2018Evan McConnell- UNA11:24.22William Kellam- West Laurens11:27.70Luke Churchwell- Bleckley11:20.55
2017Sam Rich - UNA11:15.19Zachary Bobak - UNA11:13.93Luke McGarity - Oglethorpe11:36.04
2016JD Bengston - Tift MS11:10.20Davis Potts - Malcom Bridge10:58.56Zack Truitt - Landmark Chr.10:57.24
2015Max Mowrer - UNA11:04.36Henry Plowden - UNA11:15.00John Higinbotham - UNA11:18.10
2014William James - Walton Youth11:28.00Dawson Frey - Oglethorpe MS11:29.02Zack Truitt - Landmark Chr.11:39.88
2013George Finch - Gratis Project11:21.28

Jonathan Jenkins - UNA11:04.53
2012Sean Parker - UNA11:11.05

Anthony Potts- Malcom Brdg.11:13.54
2011Sam Bowie- Gardner Newman11:02.88

Thomas Moore - UNA11:10.28
2010Alex Murfee - Woodward11:02.11

Cole Thornton - Malcom Brdg11:18.80
2009Bailey Roth - Inman MS10:49.00

2008Ray Warner - Holy Innocents11:30.00

2007Cameron Thornton - Whitefield11:31.00

2006Nathan Vassey - Woodward11:38.00

YearLarge SchoolTimeMedium SchoolTimeSmall SchoolTime
2019Sarah Fassinger - Teasley MS12:39.90Ruby Little - Marist12:45.64Claire Petersen - Mt. Bethel12:16.28
2018Morgan Grace Sheffield -UNA12:33.75Jenna Champer- Oconee MS12:23.39Reese Neumann - Holy Inn.12:27.47
2017Rylee Evans - Woodland Euh.12:23.91Sydney Matthews - UNA12:43.33Brooke Browning - Hebron12:47.30
2016Makena Gates - Creekview11:44.09Kelsey Morse - Malcom Bridge12:32.00Ansley Long - Trinity Dublin12:24.97
2015Nyah Hernandez - Creekview11:57.05Jewelle Love -East Jackson12:28.03Emily Little - Whitefield MS12:45.03
2014Nyah Hernandez - Creekview12:18.75Haley Hooper - Lovett MS12:04.10Piper Kay - Team Fusion12:21.85
2013Sydney Runyan - UNA12:28.93

Anna Marian Block- Ath. Acad12:13.04
2012Kendall Nelson - Marist12:25.40

Sarah Foreman - Landmark12:40.18
2011Mackenzie Ellison -UNA12:50.00

Kathryn Foreman - Landmark12:07.50
2010Morgan Ilse - Marist12:26.34

Ellen Powell - Bleckley MS12:42.91
2009Maddie Wetterhall - Chamblee12:24.00

2008Sahara Fletcher- N.Clayton12:19.00

2007Sarah Pray - Griffin12:46.00

2006Sarah Pray - Griffin13:14.00