Coach Cranford relayed,"This is the 5th edition of the State Middle School cross country championships. We started the first year with about 15 teams and have more than doubled since then. This is a meet that I had pondered starting for several years, but never had the courage to give it a shot until 4 years ago. Our superintendent at that time was in favor of this meet so I decided to give it a go and here we are. Many present high school runners ran in this meet, including Sahara Fletcher of Westminster, who won the State Middle School race 2 years ago and then followed that up with a GHSA state AA title last year. It will neat as the years go by to chart how runners at the middle school state meet do as they move into their high school careers."
Some of the teams that may be competing for Team titles in the Small School division could be Athens Christian, Bleckley County, First Presbyterian Day and Holy Innocents among others. On the Large School side, Eighth Street MS girls out of Tifton looked very good at Westover and Marist (although bringing a partial squad due to Club Soccer should be 2 of the favorites as well as Woodward, Woodland-Bartow, Malcom Bridge boys, Oconee MS and Cartersville. I'm sure many other teams will challenge for awards othere than those mentioned above.
Individually, the Sigler twins from Oconee Middle could be in contention for a title with 8th Street's Madison Honeycutt and Aquilla Hayes, Courtney Gilliam of Landmark Christian, Elizabeth Gunther of ACS, and Morgan Ilse of Marist. In the Boys Individual bonanza Cole Thornton of Malcom Bridge has dominated his competition in Athens area competition with Athens Christian's Joey Jenkins right on his heels in many meets as well as crosstown rival Athens Academy stalwart Adam Hearn. Brennan Garriques of Creekland has also won a couple of meets impressively. Wyatt Ingram of Pickens MS will also make the trip down from the highlands and could be a factor. Woodward's Alex Murphee and Mitchell Sanders may also be a contenders for the title and Logan Hughes of Riverside MS is coming off a win at Eagle's Landing this past Saturday.