GAINESVILLE -- Makayla Ellis was hoping just for a good start.
The North Hall junior got that and more Wednesday at the Hall County Cross Country Championships.
Ellis led from start to finish at the Chestatee course to win the girls individual race with a 20.24 time, just over a minute off the course record on a hotter-than-normal day.
"I wasn't trying to start fast but I looked around and no one came with me at the start," Ellis said. "I wasn't expecting to win with (Chestatee's) Sara Beth (English) in the field. I'm pretty happy right now."
English finished second nearly a minute behind Ellis and helped lead the Lady War Eagles to the team title. Chestatee would place five runners in the top 10, including the second- through fifth-place finishers, to finish with a miniscule 24 points.
North Hall was second with 36 points, Johnson third with 87, Gainesville fourth with 114, East Hall fifth with 142, and West Hall sixth with 145 points.
Chestatee girls coach Meghan Pruett said she was proud of her team's performance.
"We ran a good race. Makayla was tough but we just tried to put as many in the top 10 as possible," Pruett said. "Getting that many in the top is hard to beat. We feel proud that we have county bragging rights."
After Ellis and English, Maggie Wilson, Merrie Barnet, and Abby Cliche all of Chestatee finished third, fourth, and fifth. Caroline Dickey of North Hall was sixth, Johnson's Evelin Avitia seventh, Mattie Bohonan and Mary McGarry of North Hall were eighth and ninth, and Shelby Bennett of Chestatee was tenth.
The boys race was anything but close. North Hall placed the top four runners in winning the team title going away with a near-perfect score of 16 points.
Gainesville was second with 86 points, Chestatee was third with 92, Lakeview Academy fourth with 93, and Johnson finished fifth with 115 points. West Hall took sixth with 154 points, Riverside Military Academy was seventh with 174, and East Hall eighth with 230 points.
Bryce Schuebert won the individual race with 16:38.51 time, beating teammate Quintin Miles by nearly six seconds. Seth Chapman was third and Zack Hill fourth for the Trojans.
Schuebert said this was just the beginning for what he hopes will be a strong finish to the season.
"This is just one goal toward the path," Schuebert said. "This is when it starts to get fun. We got a big meet next week and then there's the region and state. We're running pretty good right now as a team."
North Hall coach Drew Rogers said they came into the race looking to win it but didn't expect the final outcome.
"We're happy with our showing. But we didn't expect to go 1-2-3-4, that's for ure," Rogers said. "Now we've just to keep getting better."
Dustin Snyder of Lakeview Academy finished fifth, North Hall's Bailey Pless was sixth, Lakeview's Dalton Snyder was seventh, Johnson's Gerardo Suarez was eighth, Juan Ortega of Gainesville was ninth, and Junior Iniguez of West Hall finished tenth.