2020 GHSA XC State Meet: 5A Boys Meet Preview

2019 5A Boys State video

While the Cross-Country season started with a high degree of uncertainty, we are rapidly approaching the moment of clarity in which will put a cap onto one of the more memorable seasons in recent history. 5A Boys will kick off the racing Saturday in Carrollton and the great weather and top competition may produce some of the best races of the day. Blessed Trinity is the favorite coming in. However, a lightly raced defending State Championship Decatur team and St. Pius will have something to say and either one could pull an upset of BT is not 100%.

Teams in Contention:

Blessed Trinity- The Titans' looks to be the team favorite heading into the meet with a possible three of the top 5 finishers. Blessed Trinity is very top-heavy having three runners that could place in the top five spots including Adam Wade, Ben Rothering, and Zack Burke. Their 4-5 runners will be key Saturday. 

Decatur- The Bulldogs are the defending 5A team champs. they were thrown a curveball by Decatur City Schools when Fall sports were suspended until late September. One factor in their favor is they only raced five times. They also have a strong top three upfront including Christian Gonzalez, William Carlton, and Eoin McNally. 

St. Pius X- The Golden Lions will attempt to pull it all together and be at full strength for State'. Their strength lies in their tight pack running which has been a staple of Coach McClay coached squads. They boast the lowest 1-5 split in 5A at 24.84... Top runners can vary, but expect Ryan Boyle and Logan Wiley to be in/near the lead pack.

Starrs Mill- The final podium spot looks to be a close battle as well. The Panthers, only a couple years removed from a State Championship, will be led by their front-runner, Colton Olvey, and be right there to challenge.

Locust Grove- Dale Smith's Locust Grove team from Henry County has hung around the top 4 most of the season with a tight pack that has had success in the past at Carrollton. However, depth outside of their top 5 is an issue. Daniel Townsend led the way all season long.

Cartersville- If the Hurricanes run well as a pack like they have this Fall, they could find themselves a top 4 team spot. Cartersville's 1-5 split is 25.48... Bill Archer and Sam Peters are two of their top runners. 

Top Individuals to Watch:

No one individual has really stood out this season in 5A. The top 10 runners are only separated by :24 which should make for an exciting race and cool early lead pack. Of the top runners listed below (scroll down) only 2 won a race this season (Gonzalez and Olvey) and that was in the region meet.

Adam Wade (Blessed Trinity)- Wade has been the Titan's top harrier all season, though he only raced four times in 2020 and will be well-rested having not raced since Coach Wood back on 10/17. The senior will pull along Rothering and Burke aiming for the team title. Wade had a big PR at Coach Wood clocking a 15:46. 

Christian Gonzalez (Decatur)- One of the few in this bunch that won a race in 2020 (region) Gonzalez was a key performer for the Bulldogs at 2019 State and led the pack this season. His SB race came at Asics going 15:51.

Zack Burke (Blessed Trinity)- Burke is a junior and part of BT's strong top three. He's raced just 6 times this Fall (including region) sporting a SB best of 15:57 achieved at Coach Wood. 

Ben Rothering (Blessed Trinity)- Rothering completes the Titan's 1-2-3 punch upfront. Looking at region times, Blessed Trinity may have just done a tempo run. Ben's SB effort came at Coach Wood at 15:58. 

Ryan Boyle (St. Pius X)- The junior from the Golden Lions will be pacing a strong St. Pius X pack looking to peak hard at State'. He will be well-rested as his last race was at Coach Wood where he set a new PR of 15:58.

Colton Olvey (Starrs Mill)- Olvey will lead the Panther's hunt for a team Podium finish. He won region 2-AAAAA and has a SB time of 16:00 at Asics.