2020 GHSA XC State Meet: 4A Girls Meet Preview

2019 4A Girls State Video

(by Coach Charlie Sparks)

After winning 11 consecutive state titles, Marist was defeated by St. Pius X last season. With St. Pius X moving up to 5A, Marist is the clear favorite with Jefferson a strong runner-up potentially. Outside of the top 5, there is a big drop off, but could someone surprise and make a run at the podium? 
Teams in Contention for Podium Spots:

Marist: The team to beat all season, this group has been rolling all year. Led by Ruby Little with 3 girls under 20 minutes and 6 under 21 minutes at Region, They could have 7 girls in the top 15. They ran fantastic at Coach Wood a few weeks ago and are looking to put everything together and bring home a state title on Friday.

Jefferson: Katherine Law will challenge Ruby Little for the individual title and lead a strong group of Dragons. (Law actually bested her at Coach Wood 2 weeks ago)Jefferson ran fantastic at region beating 3rd and 4th ranked Flowery Branch and North Oconee outright having 5 in the top 10.

Flowery Branch: Ever since the Apple Hawkins Invitational at Apalachee, Flowery Branch has been on fire. Bella Brick has run great and will make a run for a top 10 spot. Their strength comes in the great 45-second spread in their 2-5. Will this be what pushes them past Jefferson?

North Oconee: North Oconee has been consistent all year. Led by freshman Ava Caldwell and chasing Flowery Branch for the 3rd spot, they will have to make a push to get their 2-5 together and moving early in the race. North Oconee wants revenge against Flowery Branch, only losing the Region runner-up spot by 11 points.

Central High School: Central dominated their region with all 5 scorers in the top 8. Running one a fast course at Pickens, how will this translate to the hills of Carrollton? Lucy Barker looks to make a run for the top 10 and lead these ladies to a podium finish

Speaking about the 6-10 ranked squads, in a detailed virtual meet, Columbus, Druid Hills, Heritage-Catoosa, Perry and LaGrange are separated by only 19 points, so the racing on the back end could be very tight and exciting for their fans!
Top Individuals to Watch:

Katherine Law (Jefferson): The woman to beat on Friday wants to finish a fantastic season. After just missing the podium last season, she is going to want to leave no doubt that she is the best runner in 4A. Posting a SB of 17:55 from Coach Wood, she will be out front come Friday.

Ruby Little and Nicole Pizzo (Marist): These two ladies have led Marist all season and have a chance at going 1-2 on Friday. Little (a frosh) leads with a SB of 18:22 with Pizzo running 18:41.

Ava Caldwell (North Oconee): The freshman will try to hang out with the top pack and surprise people on Friday. After a runner-up finish and PR performance of 19:35, she looks to break into the top 5 on Friday.

Bella Brick (Flowery Branch): Bella has run fantastic the past few races. Having won at Carrollton Orthopedic and Apple Hawkins, she boasts a SB of 19:26 at Pickens.