2020 GHSA XC State: Wesleyan Defends Title, Truitt Flawless

Wesleyan Boys are once again A Private team champions.

The Wolves once again followed a proven formula, outworked other squads, have a tough course to practice on, and peaked late defending their 2019 title and now have 3-peated (2018-2020) Wesleyan had three runners in the top 10 spots led by seniors Mac Howie (3rd-16:32), Braden Debow (7th-17:12) and  Shane Kelly (10th-17:19). Having a team average of 17:18 can lead to 87 point margin of victory.

Coach McDaniel commented, "What a day! It's really hard to describe and hard to believe. It's just been such a weird year with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been difficult in so many ways. I just give so much credit to these kids and the coaches on this staff who stayed engaged and never let their minds slip or get bogged down by everything going on in the world. Everybody stayed engaged and nobody checked out. I felt like that was a huge piece, staying locked in mentally and emotionally so the kids could put in the work. And worked as hard as any team I've ever coached. Having the opportunity to win both on the same day is so rare. It's the first time we've done that since 2002. It's not easy to do. You never know if you'll have a shot at either of them, so to have a chance to get both is really special. It's been a long time since we had a team put four guys in the top 11. That's pretty special. This boys team goes down as one of the best in Wesleyan history and I am so proud of them."

Mac Howie led the hunt for the Wolves placing 3rd overall at 16:32.

Landmark Christian senior, Zack Truitt wins the overall title in a swift time of 16:05.

It's been a long time coming for Zack Truitt to reach the pinnacle in A Private cross country. He may have had a couple (by his standards) of disappointing races in the previous state meets, but not on Saturday. The Georgia Tech signee took the lead early and was never challenged after building a 75-meter lead beginning loop 2. Truitt crossed the timing mats in a very satisfying time of 16:05 winning the individual title. (3rd fastest time of the meet behind Justin Wachtel and Kamari Miller.

Joe Sapone of Holy Innocents

Joe Sapone of Holy Innocents closed out his GHSA season by racing to runner-up honors behind Truitt. His time of 16:29 was the 9th fastest including all classes. This helped spark the Golden Bears to a second-place team Podium spot.

Sam Colton of Paideia.

The senior co-captain of the Pythons, Colton had the best outing of his career placing 4th overall clocking a time of 17:04, giving Paideia a much-needed low stick. With fellow co-captain Elijah McCauley finishing 9th at 17:17, the Pythons rose to third as a team besting Whitefield who beat them in the region meet.

Noah Kilgore of Strong Rock Christian and Braden Debow from Wesleyan.

Noah Kilgore of Strong Rock Christian flew down the final hill rounded the bend moving up to claim 5th overall posting a 17:11. Debow finished 7th for Wesleyan.

John Durham of Deerfield-Windsor (Albany)

In their first season GHSA competition, Deerfield-Windsor was very competitive proving a few GISA programs can get it done with the big boys. Jon Durham placed 6th overall for the Knights leading them to a 6th place finish (lost on a 6th runner tiebreaker to Athens Academy)

On a sad note, Evan Prince from Tallulah Falls (back right in the pic above) collapsed 75 meters from the finish after having the run of his life. He was in 3rd place, but managed to get up and finished 17th.