2020 GHSA XC State Meet: St. Pius X Edges 2019 Champ Decatur

Ryan Boyle of St. Pius X and Will Nash of Warner Robins clash. (photo Enrique Tomas)

Saturday morning got started in fine fashion as three of the fastest boys squads in Georgia toed the starting line. Any of these schools beating the other couldn't really be considered as an upset. Blessed Trinity was ranked #1 in the final week of team rankings, Decatur 2nd, St. Pius X third. Decatur's top two studs Christian Gonzalez and Eoin McNally were the first up the horseshoe hill and running 1,3 beginning loop 2. But, things really began to take shape after the 2-mile marker in this race,  St. Pius X had 6 runners in the top 20ish beginning loop 2 and ended up holding on or near to those positions within their top five till the finish line nipping the defending 5A champion Bulldogs by two points, what a race! The key to the Golden Lions' win was a tighter pack from 1-5 having a split of 39 seconds. Junior, Ryan Boyle led the attack finishing 3rd overall at 16:40, followed by senior Patrick McDonald back in sixth at 16:42.

Patrick McDonald of St. Pius X digs in hard, (photo by Enrique Tomas)

Coach Ryan McClay commented afterward, "I don't think I have ever had a boys team fight this hard. All 5 of our scorers passed 1-4 runners from the band field to the finish. That's just pure guts and these boys deserve all of the credit for what they accomplished today. Multiple quarantines meant we had a hard time reaching our full potential, but they showed up today. I'm proud of them."

Overall Champ Christian Gonzalez of Decatur (photo Enrique Tomas)

Decatur fought tooth and nail during the race, much like they had to at school with the district not allowing any Fall Sports contests thru 9/26 due to COVID-19 concerns. Decatur struck first in the race sweeping the top two spots led by overall champion Christian Gonzalez who clocked a 16:33 with McNally 20 meters back going 16:37. 

Eoin McNally of Decatur HS was overall runner-up. (photo Enrique Tomas)

Blessed Trinity finished a strong third in the team standings only 20 points behind Decatur. The Titans had two runners earn All-State honors including Adam Wade who was 4th overall in 16:41 and Ben Rothering who placed 10th at 16:53. Starr's Mill narrowly defeated Locust Grove by 2 points to secure the final team podium spot led by Colton Olvey's 7th place effort of 16:44. Will Nash did Warner Robins High School proud as the senior had a great race placing overall in 16:41

Will Nash of Warner Robins holds off Seth White from Pickens and Patrick McDonald of St. Pius X