MileSplit Georgia had comprehensive race video coverage from the 2014 GHSA Cross Country State Championships. Watch all the races here!
1A Boys Public hit the start line after all the dust had cleared from the afternoon, but did have cooler temps than the previous 2 classes (unless some self-appointed weathermen out there beg to differ like on The Discussion Board. The venue had nearly cleared after the A Private Awards were finished , but these guys were ready to race on a course that very few of them had experience on. Many of the top runners from the 2013 meet had graduated, and 2 time defending Champ Georgia Military was a bit down this season (like many A Public squads having a difficult job of fielding a full squad.) New champions would be crowned on this day...
A Public Girls once again closed out the GHSA State Cross Country Championships as the sun dropped behind the big hill providing some interseting lighting for Dan McCauley to work with. Carrollton has to be the toughest and longest course any of these athletes have faced this Fall. Towns County came in as the defending Champs along with their top runner Hannah Whitehead who might be a freshman. Towns and Commerce battled it out in the Area Meet and had met previously at an Athens Academy home meet.
A list of the top 100 boys squads from the team scores results merge of all 7 classification races from the 2014 Georgia High School State Cross Country Championships held on Saturday, November 8th in Carrollton.
A list of the top 100 girls squads from the team scores results merge of all 7 classification races from the 2014 Georgia High School State Cross Country Championships held on Saturday, November 8th in Carrollton.
A list of the top 500 girls individual times from all 7 classification races at the 2014 Georgia High School State Cross Country Championships.
A list of the top 500 individual times from all 7 classification races at the 2014 Georgia High School State Cross Country Championships.
Over 4,300 photos taken by Jonathan Speights from the 2014 Georgia State Cross Country Championship Meet.
The 2A Boys team title has never in recent history been as up for grabs as this Fall. Think of all (you old timers, lol) of the schools that have dominated this class in the 21st century...Primarily Westminster, Wesleyan (bobbing back and forth betwixt 1 and AA) Lovett and Blessed Trinity. Some serious wars were waged between these traditional powers. But it was all in good sportsmanship on the Boys side. It took until after region for Wesleyan to take the #1 spot in the rankings and they backed it up Saturday at Carrollton. Spencer Fields of Darlington must have felt like a man alone soon after the start as he just never looked back winning the Overall title.
The 2A Girls race favored Lovett as the Lions had dispatched any AA competition during the season and were looking for their first title in years. It doesn't hurt having the best harrier in AA leading the way in Serena Tripodi. Wesleyan figured to be a comtender having a strong program and being defending Champ. Pace Academy won the 1A Private title last Fall but lost some core runners. Darlington returned a strong experienced squad and Holy Innocents can't help but have some talent coming up from their State Championship MS program. St. Vincent's (Benedictine Military's sister school) runs well at Carrollton and woukd their be a surprise from a Mid GA squad?
1A Private Girls was a race that had set Individual contenders that were some of the fastest ladies All-State. Emma Grace Hurley has been defeated by no one, including a victory over Top Performer of the day Morgan Ilse and Lindsay Billings at Warpath mid-September. Not to mention Kathryn Foreman would be starting, though running thru pain at Region 5. Landmark Christian has been the team to beat in this class although at times being a bit inconsistent on the bottom end. Athens Academy showed signs of being a contender thru October if Landmark faltered, but a couple of squads had something to say about that in the final really competitive meet of the day. Have no fear, Hurley took off and never looked back and Landmark ran like days of past in the first decade and before. Here's a shout to Atlanta International's Helen Williams to get well and hopefully return this Outdoor Track season!
With the large rabid 6A races complete and Girls teams anxiously waiting for 'official results' to be released, A Private Boys kind of quietly began showing at the start line to settle who the best is this Fall. Anyone who has a clue was well aware of who Reilly Friedman is and how good he's become over the past 3 years after placing 21st his freshman year. Thru October and Region meets Hebron Christian and Galloway were looking like the cream of the A crop with Providence Christian, Athens Academy, Landmark Christian and possibly Paideia with opportunities to ascend the Podium. But, anything can happen at State...except to Friedman as he left no doubts that he is The Man in Georgia Cross Country this Fall.
Everyone was still trying to catch their breath after the fast and furious action of the 6A Boys championship race when the 6A ladies began to gather at the start line and form up stretching, doing the obligatory runouts, then huddling together (some with'some without their coaches) having final moments together getting charged up or praying even) As the final calls were made the time had arrived to put it all on the line (for some seniors perhaps their final Cross Country race) Most in the loop expected a team battle between top ranked Region 6 foes Northview, South Forsyth and a red hot Milton squad or to observe another work of art by Lindsay Billings. Sometimes one gets what they hope for, a great team battle and watching one of the state's best hopes for a Foot Locker National finalist.
You had to be there and watch the setting and atmosphere change as 4A began to race and the 6A schools and their rabid fans begin to arrive and populate the surrounding start/finish area and line both sides of the big hill below the school on top. The buzz could be felt in the air as the 6A Boys headed towards the start line and warmed up, doing runouts waiting for some sloooow AA girls to finish their stroll. Tension and anticipation mounted as squads toed the line and thousands of their faithful fans, jv runners roared as the race began...Marietta went to work taking care of business and no fewer than 10 guys mixed it up within 25 meters of each other till the end as Davis Stockwell emerged victorious...
This was one of the races everyone in the running community was highly anticipating as 4 of these AAAA squads have been ranked in the top 10 All-Class team rankings including most recently #2 St.Pius X and #3 North Oconee. But wait, isn't Marist in this race as well? Everyone would soon find out the 'Sleeper Has Awakened'. As many as 8 guys had legit shots at winning the Overall title if they brought it. No big shock St.Pius Boys won, but Marist as forewarned weaved their magic outrunning a talented North Oconee squad for 2nd! Senior Alex Murfee enjoyed a well deserved Overall win beating some nasty competition on the way.
Even though the final score clearly shows Marist's complete dominance, this was actually a very exciting race. The individual race was never really in doubt as Morgan Ilse Ilse was on a mission from the gun turning in the top Girls performance of the meet at 18:24. Marist Saturday clearly displayed the War Eagles are the top Girls TEAM in Georgia.
Another great race to continue the day (and thanks to Matt Day for the great commentary on the Live webcast today thru the 6A races!) It was Dunwoody's day to rule once again as they successfully defended their 2013 title as it seems the extra rest paid dividends for the Lady Wildcats today. Alyssa Hooker of Lakeside Evans took control of the race early and hung tough becoming the 5A Overall Champ in 19:45.
The GHSA State Cross Country Championships got off with a bang this morning at 7:45 with a light cover of frost in the 'bowl' at 39 degrees with little to no wind. All along it was a question of who would push Poteet and the answer was no one till it was too late. Clarkston vs Forsyth Central in the team race morphed into the Angoras vs Flowery Branch beginning the 2nd loop.
There was no fooling around at Carrollton in the 3A Girls Championship race. #5 All-Class Westminster was just too strong for the defending 3A Champs Blessed Trinity. Region 6 has often had these 2 squads collide in the past with the Region champ bowing to the runnerup at State. No such tomfoolery this Fall as the Cats crushed it. Audrey Honiotes has done something rare showing strong improvement from her freshman season when she placed 2nd overall to winning the Overall title Saturday in 19:26 on a Carrollton course that was running a bit slow.
Did this race ever turn into how it was billed? An East Jackson squad top heavy with 3 front runners, Blessed Trinity a solid squad with a couple guys who have been their top harriers with a tighter 1-6, and a Westminster squad which improved consistently thru October. At State (as a former Dacula trio knows) tighter packs and soild 4-5 guys win state titles. It went down to the bone decided by a 6th runner tiebreak witht he deeper Titan squad prevailing for the 3A title. One has to give credit to East Jackson's trio as they went 1.2,4 with Chase Kennedy taking the Overall crown.
Click on the article Header for a link to the Carrollton Course
Man, I'm scratching my head looking at this class...All season many have pondered when Wesleyan would ascend to the top and it took till Region for it to happen and by a measley 2 point margin on their home course which I've been told is quite beautiful and tough (Just look at the times from the Region 6 meet, very Carrollton like) Region 6 dominated the top 5 spots in the Boys Final Pre-State Class 2A Rankings and all the hot action from region 6 should continue Saturday as only 15 points separated the top 3 squads. Its WIDE OPEN for the team title and only 1 individual has been dominant this Fall in Spencer Fields of Darlington. Bleckley ran tough down in 4-AA. Can the Royals contend for a title?
AA has been the weaker class overall for Cross Country many years now, although having championship quality programs on the top end. But AA got a bit of a makeover this season with A powers Darlington, Holy Innocents and Pace moving up in the latest alignments (despite the departure of Westminster) But Lovett has come into their own this Fall even after losing their #1 to graduation and could sweep the Individual and Team titles. Pictured above is Serena Tripodi at Last Chance dueling with Jenna Gearing (4A)
A Private Girls recently have become very competitive with so many fast girls including a Foot Locker National Finalist in Kathryn Foreman and 2014's 2nd fastest female Emma Grace Hurley of Fellowship Christian who beat 6A Northview's Lindsay Billings several weeks ago. Landmark Christian a month ago looked unbeatable having a healthy top 5. But Athens Academy has closed the gap considerably this month showing signs they could give Landmark fits if they are missing 1 of their top 5. Pictured is Hurly leading a few of Georgia's best including Morgan Ilse of Marist and Savannah Carnahan from South Forsyth.
The Class A Private Boys race has one definitive fact about it: What time will Reilly Friedman post and will it be good enough in the last competitive boys race of the day to win the Best Performance award? His team, the Scots of Galloway are in contention for the state title vs a hungry Hebron Christian Lions squad. A Private boys are a little weaker overall with Darlington, Holy Innocents and Pace moving up to 2A and those teams are all in contention in the AA races Saturday.
The Final 5A Rankings for Girls show how tight these squads may be bunched up coming down the final hill at Carrollton. I would not expect the teams to finish in the Final Rankings order (don't shoot the ranker as I stepped in for those) Their will be a new 5A team/individual champ crowned as Northview is now doing battle with the 'Big Girls' in 6A. Flowery Branch ran the toughest course at Region and ran very well as a pack. Dunwoody is going to be the most rested team for sure and returned everyone from their 2013 squad except for Alex Cameron. Starrs Mill's gals may have something to say about that as the Panthers ran great at Region 4. Lakeside Evans star Alyssa Hooker appears to have a target on her back based on her 18:29 at Asics, but I believe the Overall title is WIDE OPEN....much like the team title...
Its been brewing all season ever since Clarkston and Forsyth Central met at Bob Blastow on the quick Clinton Farms course and the Angoras gored the Bulldogs in the backside in the Varsity Boys 2 race by 12 points and come Saturday, it will be settled. The Individual race will ask the question of who is going to put it all on the line and leave it out on the course trying to beat defending champ Logan Poteet from Kell who only was defeated at Coach Wood.. Pictured is Abbas Abbkar of Clarkston who will attempt to lead the Angoras to a state title.
This should be the best team race of the state meet if all the top teams are healthy. Tremendous quality at the top and 4 teams that can compete in any class plus 2 strong darkhorses. St. Pius has been #1 all season but North Oconee has crept closer late in the season. Woodward has been lurking aound never quite making the leap toward #1. North Hall is always dangerous and then there is Marist, making a late season push towards the top. The battle for the Individual title could be just as intense as 13 boys who qualified have went sub 16:00 this season. Can anyone knock off St. Pius and McClay's troops.? Has Marist got something they haven't shown yet this season and make a run at defending their title? Will North Oconee stay on their hot streak? Woodward has been quietly running well lately and its reported Drew Sands is back, or will North Hall's 'Freight Train of Pain' get back on the track and challenge? It could be a race for the ages...be there!
Class 4A Girls is tougher this season after the 2014-2015 realignments. There is no doubt that Marist's girls are a lock to win the 4A State title and their star Morgan Ilse will be the favorite to win Individual honors. Heritage Catoosa is strong and should be bringing their top 5 across the mats next. After that its pretty wide open for the remaining Podium spots teamwise especially for 3rd and 4th place and individually after 2nd (if everyone is healthy.
Podium teams look to be Blessed Trinity, East Jackson, Westminster, and Oconee County. Blessed Trinity has a small time spread 1-5, but East Jackson has one of the best front three in Georgia with the Kennedy Brothers and Noah Hulett. Westminster has tradition on their side while Oconee County showed at region they cannot be overlooked. Savannah Arts will need to prove they can handle the Hills and pressure of the AAA State race.
Although AAA is a little down after the departure of some heavy hitters to 4A, Westminster, Blessed Trinity, Hart County , and Oconee County should be the top contenders for a spot on the Podium. Westminster looks to be the favorite to win another title but did Blessed Trinity hold back at Region? Audrey Honiotes of Hart County, Westminster’s Delaney Graham, and MaryClaire Solomon should be in the lead pack once the gun goes off on November 8th.
In a season where Northview looked to be the ‘team to beat’ on the girls’ side, they all of a sudden looked more human in their loss to South Forsyth at their region meet. Was it an off-day and a wake-up call to Northview? Did South Forsyth just happen to play their cards right? Or, has South Forsyth saved their best for last and truly caught the once favorite
6A Boys Team: Marietta. The entire season (and really even during last track season), the whole state has been watching this team. They’ve gone undefeated versus all GA competition and only have a blemish on their record vs. a now #11 nationally ranked La Salle squad (source: DyeStat). They very well could put 3 (more?) in the top 10 in the state’s biggest class, and with a 1-5 split of well under a minute at region, we can expect them to have their 4-5 not far behind. It’s their race to lose. Coach “Black Jack” Coleman will have his guys ready to go. It’ll be exciting to watch.
The Girls Region Runner of the Week is Lindsay Billings as she won the 6-AAAAAA Overall title clocking a 17:53. This will be the Final "Runners of the Week' article as of course your Class State Champs will overide anything and the Top 10 in each class are named 'All-State.
Here are your GHSA Boys Region 'Runners of the Week' Kell's Logan Poteet scorched Boling Park in 15:28 winning the Region 7-AAAAA title. Can anyone in AAAAA give him a race Saturday?
Region 6 dominates the top 5 spots in the Final Pre-State Class 2A Rankings and all the hot action from 6 will continue Saturday, especially in the Boys race for the title. WEsleyan nipped Pace taking the top spot, and Bleckley ran tough down in 4-AA. Can the Royals contend for a title? Lovett's gals are gonna be hard to keep up with but Darlington may be up to the task..,The race for the next 2 Podium spots should be extremely close. Alot of movement on the back end (6-10) for both genders.
The Final 5A Rankings for Girls show how tight these squads may be bunched up coming down the final hill at Carrollton. I would not expect the teams to finish in the rankings order. Flowery Branch ran the toughest course at Region and ran very well as a pack. Dunwoody is going to be the most rested team for sure. Finally...Clarkston and Forsyth Central will line up when it matters Saturday...Can Clarkston rise up and have another shocking race like last year or will Forsyth Central win their first State title? Don't count out Flowery Branch or Starrs Mill who ran great in lousy conditions last Saturday..
Region meets last week for 6A teams were quite telling of who the real players are this Saturday in Carrollton. The Boys top 5 are all strong. We can't see anyone pushing Marietta, but the real race is after the show for 2nd thru 4th, and will Miles Yapp be back for Brookwood? South Forsyth's Girls beat Northview at region, can they do it again and beat Milton? Milton's program has been on fire this season...and Collins Hill with their very tight pack at region could make some noise.
In the Final 4A Rankings of the season, should we be surprised that perennial power Marist is in the top 4 ? They have a rep of peaking this time of year, but their will be a new 4A champ this season and this is going to be a race fans should get there early or stay late for come Saturday. The question is who will challenge St.Pius X....and who would have thought North Hall would drop down to 5th. The Girls race to fill the Podium will be intense after Marist's top 5 finish.
There are some extremely fast Girls in Class 6A this season and after Region it appears Lindsay Billings may have some company throughout the title race. Savannah Carnahan hung with Billings longer than anyone this Fall excluding 1A Private's Emma Grace Hurley who defeated her at Warpath.
Carrollton is just 4 more days away..Can you believe this XC season has just flown by again and now all the chirping will cease when 6A Boys get in their assigned boxes. In this snapshot are your GHSA Fastsest 50 Young Men in 6A heading into State.
I really wish we had more data to gon with A Public Cross Country, but this seems to happen every season since A was split up into Public and Private. Its pretty obvious the toughest area is Area 4 as judged by the races held at Athens Academy ( a real XC course) all season and last Thursday. As for the other Areas...no results have been turned in and I don't have much faith in some of the courses being legit that Area 1,2,3 competed on.
Galloway Boys were very impressive at Region in frigid windy conditions. Hebron Christian was too in the Area 2 meet as these squads should provide some exciting racing late Saturday afternoon. Paideia was a strong 3rd at region without their 2 and 4. Landmark Christian was back at full strength at the 5-A meet but Kathryn Foreman was reported to be in pain after the race. Athens Academy's girls beat Hebron and Providence at Region. George Walton pulled the shocker in 8-A beating ACS out for 4th teamwise. Its still a slight mystery what transpired at Region 6-A except for some Discussion Board posts, which had 2 top 1-A Private athletes compete in with Emma Grace Hurley and Robby Keough...
Westminster Girls handled Blessed Trinity with ease at their home course. But, this has happened before...was Blessed Trinity sandbagging? Dawson County Girls clubbed Fannin and Banks County at Region moving up. Pierce County may be in the Rankings for the first time ever after their region meet and I have to question the course length..Westminster gave Blessed Trinty fits at Region in the boys race thus jumping over East Jackson. Savannah Arts easily won their region and are a darkhorse to make the Podium. We'll find out how they handle the Carrollton hills and pressure..SE Bullock snuck in the top 10 after a fast region time (course?)
Its here! The final week of rankings that don't matter come Saturday when its time to put up or shut up, Our committee needs to thanked for their selfless work put in for doing this. All- Class Rankings will matter after State to some people even though Coach Wood spelled alot of that out. St. Pius and North Oconee's Boys are on course for a heavyweight fight Saturday in 4A. Milton's Girls definitely moved up after their region showing.