2020 GHSA XC State Meet: St. Pius X Girls Make it a 5A Sweep

It was a brutal taxing race for the 5A girls title.
(photos by Marc Logan)

This was it, the final match of Rocky vs Apollo Creed, Rocky vs Ivan Drago, and Little Creed vs Drago Jr. The rubber match to decide once and for all who the best high school girls cross country team in 2020 is. Let's get ready to rumble!! 

Hannah Schemmel, Rylee Evans, and Hannah Miniutti chase Mary Brady. 

Racing conditions were near perfect early Saturday morning as the course held up to the pounding it took Friday from six races. (This would change as A Private races began) It really boiled down to which squad was the healthiest on race day. Both have had their share of injuries and such throughout the Fall campaign with NO post-season save the Meet of Champions. Blessed and Pius X both got out fast, but something happened on the creek trail on the back of the course. Mary Brady and Kelly Ann Sutterfield were engaged upfront heading down into that area, but as Brady emerged onto the band field there was no Sutterfield tagging along. Brady built a 40-meter lead as she began loop 2 over teammate Schemmel, Hannah Minutti, and Rylee Evans of Woodland, while Sutterfield had worked her way back near the top 10. 

Mary Brady completed a perfect season winning the 5A girls state crown. 

On the final mile, Brady and Schemmel began to pull away from the field as Brady took the victory posting a time of 18:47 with Schemmel 2nd overall at 18:55. Miniutti had her best race since Bob Blastow placing 3rd overall going 19:21. Evans of Woodland held her position finishing 4th overall in 19:27. Laney Doster from Jones County had a solid race earning All-State honors placing 5th at 19:30. 

Hannah Schemmel crossed the finish line 2nd behind teammate Brady.

St. Pius X got some insurance on the back end from sophomore Grace Von Bieberstein's 8th place run of 19:43 along with Catherine Breault taking 9th overall in 19:56. Coach McClay had this to say about the Lady Golden Lions after the meet, "These seniors have changed the culture of our program forever and deserve so much credit. They all did what I knew they were capable of. It hasn't been smooth sailing to get here with injuries to 4/7 of the girls who raced today. But I knew if we got to that starting line with those 7 girls we had a chance. They ran their hearts out and deserve tons of credit. I'm pumped for them. That was not an easy win."

Hannah Miniutti had her best race of the season placing 3rd.

The Lady Titans had to settle for a very strong 2nd as a team and had a phenomenal season despite all the challenges. Katie Hamfeldt finished 6th place at 19:40, Nicole Chastain was 12th, and Sutterfield 13th. 

McIntosh had a very good team, and in many other years would have won the title without the Catholic power programs now in 5A. Leading the Lady Chiefs was senior Hannah Moore who placed 11th in 20:06. Decatur claimed the final team Podium spot in a close battle over Union Grove by six points.