GHSA Cross Country season comes to an end in Carrollton Friday, Saturday

A quick course, a perfect weather forecast and top-class returning champions facing a stout field await as the cross country season comes to an end at the GHSA cross country state championships at the Carrollton Course at Carrollton High School on Friday and Saturday.

The forecast for the weekend has been better than in recent history and with a course suited for low times, there could be record-breaking appearances on the boys and girls side of each of the state’s eight classifications.

Three classes – 5A, A-Division I and A-Division II – will take to the course Friday beginning with the 5A boys at 9 a.m. and ending with the A-Division II girls beginning their championship trek at 12:45 p.m.

On Saturday the remaining five classes – 7A, 6A, 4A, 3A and 2A – will compete for their respective state championships beginning at 8 a.m. with the 7A boys and finishing with the 6A girls race, which begins at 2:45 p.m.

The defending boys champions are Marietta (7A), North Atlanta (6A), Decatur (5A), Westminster (4A), Oconee County (3A), Athens Academy (2A), Armuchee (A-Division I) and Atkinson County (A-Division II) The defending girls champions are Marietta (7A), Marist (6A), Decatur (5A), Pace Academy (4A), Wesleyan (3A), Savannah Arts (2A), Bleckley County (A-Division I) and Atlanta Classical (A-Division II).

On the boys side of Class 7A, host Carrollton enters the week as the top-ranked team and are looking for the program’s second title and first since 1971.  Runners Noah Martinson, Hagan Russell, Nour Nazim and Braven Davis will lead the Trojans. Harrison, Lambert, Denmark, Milton and Mill Creek are some of the top contenders. For the 7A girls, three-time defending-champion Marietta is the top-ranked program led by Mary Nesmith, Maddie Jones, Nora Hart and Gabi Comsudes. Harrison, Walton, Mill Creek, Brookwood and Richmond Hill will contend.

In Class 6A, Marist looks good on the boys and girls side. The boys will try for the program’s 13th championship and enter as the top-ranked favorite led by Tommy Latham, Liam Hanemann, Ian Gaffney and Andrew Strickland. For the girls, Marist has won 23 overall championships, three-straight and since 1996, Marist has won a championship every year except 1997, 2005-2007 and 2019.

Chattahoochee enters the 5A meet as the top-ranked boys team wanting its first-ever championship. Chris Connolly, Antonio Correa, Elliott Howe, Jeremiah McGaw and Alex Johnson will lead. Greenbrier, Jefferson, Cambridge, Jackson-Atlanta and Chapel Hill are favorites to contend on the boys side. For the girls, Northview is ranked atop the class entering the meet led by Regina Michel Camacho, Paula Sandoval, Lauren Skeens and Gabriella Burton. McIntosh, defending-champion Decatur, Chattahoochee and Cambridge will contend.

In Class 4A, all eyes are on the top-ranked Westminster boys, who have won six-straight titles and 30 overall championships. Pace Academy, Clarkston, Starr’s Mill and Lovett will challenge. For the girls, top-ranked and defending-champion Pace Academy leads with challengers including Starr’s Mill, North Hall, Lovett, Westminster and Whitewater.

The defending champions are ranked atop each side of the Class 3A meet with the boys team from Oconee County favored and the girls team from Wesleyan ranked No. 1. Oconee is trying for its fourth title while the Wesleyan girls want the programs fourth-straight and ninth overall championship.

Providence Christian’s boys have never won a title but are ranked atop Class 2A and will contend alongside defending champion and No. 2-ranked Athens Academy, Jeff Davis and Vidalia. On the girls side, top-ranked Athens Academy, Fellowship Christian, Fannin County, Savannah Arts and Jeff Davis will contend.

In Class A Division I, Whitefield Academy enters as a favorite on the boys side ahead of Paideia, Darlington, defending-champion Armuchee and Bleckley County. For the girls, Bleckley County enters as the top-ranked defending champions and will be challenged by Athens Christian, Armuchee, Paideia and Mount Vernon.

In Class A Division II, defending champion Atkinson County’s boys are the top-ranked team and will face a stout field including Aquinas, Atlanta Classical, Furlow Charter and Lake Oconee Academy. On the girls side, defending champion and top-ranked Atlanta Classical are favored with Furlow Charter, Lake Oconee Academy, Wilcox County and Atkinson County as challengers.

Friday, November 3, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 5A Boys
9:45 a.m. – 5A Girls
10:30 a.m. – A Div. 1 Boys
11:15 a.m. – A Div. 1 Girls
12:00 noon – A Div. 2 Boys
12:45 p.m. – A Div. 2 Girls

Saturday, November 4, 202 3

8:00 a.m. – 7A Boys
8:45 a.m. – 7A Girls
9:30 a.m. – 2A Boys
10:15 a.m. – 2A Girls
11:00 a.m. – 3A Boys
11:45 a.m. – 3A Girls
12:30 p.m. – 4A Boys
1:15 p.m. – 4A Girls
2:00 p.m. – 6A Boys
2:45 p.m. – 6A Girls

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