2A Defending Girls Champ Zoe Sanchez from Union County
(contributions by Bruce Taylor)
2A Girls Team 1st Outlook (based on Returners and Pr's from 2018)
With the departure of all the Metro private schools from 2A in 2016, Bleckley County has been on a roll winning 3 straight and impressively in 2017 & 2018. It's going to take a special season from another team to really push the Royals as they are the odds on favorite to 4-peat. Coach Cranford has built a culture of winning and they just plain outwork everyone else, while retaining their MS talent moving up to the next level. The Lady Royals may be on the verge of a dynasty in 2A for years.
A few things will play a factor:
* The top 8 Overall finishers from State should all be back for action this Fall. The individual race should come down to Union County's Zoe Sanchez and any of Bleckley's potential top 4 including Emily Youngblood, Austin Perez and Christa Hall. Even their freshman, Tristen Crosby could win it based off some very strong 3200m times. Zoie Marchant from Jeff Davis, Chloe Purdy of Armuchee and the Berrien duo of Rebecca Chandler and Hannah Dodd could form strong chase pack..
* Again, Freshmen will play a key role with several contending for top 10 spots. Bleckley County adds Tristan Crosby and Kayla Kerce, both top 15 finishers in MS State XC.
* Bleckley County looks very strong, returning their top 3 runners who went 2-3-4 last year at state. With their upcoming 9th graders, they will be very tough to beat. Looks to be their title to lose. It must be all that good grub they eat at Scott's BBQ, lol.
* Banks County cracked the Podium placing 4th in 2018. The Leopards have a solid senior duo in Destinie Martin and Anna Parker and return 6 of their top 7 from 2018.. If some of their younger runners can improve they could move up the Podium ladder.
* Bremen returns their entire top 7 has their own senior duo with Lillian Garner and Chloe Smith. They should do much better than their 11th place finish in 2018.
* St. Vincent's loses their top placer from state in 2018, but return a squad of Juniors and Sophomores. They run very close races and a low split at state could get them a podium position. Top returner is Reese Groover who was 16th at State.
* Jeff Davis returns all-state placer in Zoie Marchant who is only a Sophmore, but lost their 4 and 5. The Yellow Jackets have a few girls who could help fill that void if they have had good summers..
* Union County will have a senior-laden lineup which includes the defending champ Sanchez. After a somewhat disappointing team finish last year at 8th, it wouldn't be surprising to see them running very well and possibly making the team Podium.
Rebecca Chandler (L) and Hannah Dodd from Berrien County
* A darkhorse squad could very well be those Lady Rebs' from way down south in Berrien County. Dodd and Chandler (above) are both All-Staters and they return everyone on paper. It would be something else to see a flatlander team this close to Florida crack the Podium this Fall..
This is not a Pre-Season ranking