2020 GHSA XC State: Marietta Gals Complete a 7A Team Sweep

7A Girls start
(all photos by Marc Logan)

The 7A girls' race proved to be extremely unique this Saturday. Most team champions have girls finish in the top 5 individually and even win the overall title, which was not to be the case this season. Only 2 schools out of the top 11 teams had a runner finish in the top five! Is that nuts or what? It all came down to as billed by MileSplit Georgia (Coach Demarest of Parkview) Marietta vs Hillgrove for the big enchilada.

Kristal McQueen led Marietta to the 7A team title.

It's been a couple of years since Marietta won back to back state titles in 2017-2018. Those were very gifted squads talent-wise. But, through hard work and focus, the Lady Devils' rose back into contenders for a state title. No superstars (at this point) but all working together in harmony. Sophomore, Kristal McQueen led the charge at Carrollton placing 12th overall in 20:09. But, the 2-5 runners made the difference in clinching the team title as they had a split of 30 seconds. Seniors, Betsy Gordon, Hattie Rydinsky, and Macie Pfeuffer were key in achieving the win.

Coach Jack Coleman allowed this after the meet, "It was a great day for our teams pulling off the 2 wins. Starting the season I wouldn't have dreamed of it, but after the Cobb County Championships thought we might have an opportunity if we could stay healthy. The girl's race was hard fought and was truly a back and forth battle with Hillgrove all the way to the finish line. The last mile of the race was a real test of the two teams' wills.  I am especially proud to see our Seniors girls graduate winning 3 of 4 State championships in their time with us. It was truly a special day for our teams."

Carmel Yonas of South Forsyth has been unstoppable in October, and the South Forsyth sophomore has the motor to dominate 7A in the coming years. Carmel cranked out an 18:48, recording the 2nd fastest time of the GHSA state meet all classes as well as leading the Eagles to a 3rd place team finish by 2 points over Harrison.

Junior, Ashley Thompson of Gainesville, led the race beginning loop 2, got passed but held her spot until the finish placing 2nd overall posting a time of 19:05 making the solid 'Red Elephant' program very happy. 

Freshman, Mary Grace Sheffield of Denmark HS had the best race of her running career at GHSA State'. placing 3rd overall for the Great Danes clocking a 19:44. 

It's very rare that two freshman place in the top 5 overall in the 'big girls' Class 7A. But, given the crazy times we live in now, why not? Claire Shelton of Dunwoody had a remarkable run Saturday at State placing 4th overall in 19:46. had a remarkable run Saturday at State placing 4th overall in 19:46. 

Senior, Sarah Burwell of Walton held off a late challenge by underclassmen Allie Wardle of Brookwood (L) and Makenna Calbert of Etowah (c) retaining 5th place overall going 19:49. 

Junior, Ava Brooks led the charge for Hillgrove's team title hopes to place 8th overall in 19:53. Hot on her heels was South Forsyth frosh Isabel Yonas (Carmel's younger sister)