CARROLLTON — Northeast Georgia area runners had a huge weekend at the 2019 state cross country meet held Friday and Saturday at West Georgia University.
The area crowned four individual state champions, two individual runners-up, one team champion, two team state runners-up, with five other teams finishing in the top five spanning four classifications.
North Hall’s Andrew Jones won the Class 3A boys meet, Union County’s Zoe Sanchez won the Class 2A girls meet, and Banks County’s Griffin Stephens won the weekend’s most thrilling race. The senior runner nipped Bleckley County senior Garrett Rogers with a sprint to the finish with a 16:44.15 time to Rogers’ 16:44.21 with a stretch at the line to win the Class 2A boys meet.
Commerce dominated the Class A Public boys meet with three finishers in the top five. The Tigers had 38 points to second place Schley County finishing with a distant 91.
Tigers’ junior Brandon Martin crossed the line in 17:02.85 beat senior teammate Demarco Hernandez (17:34.82) to win the championship. Commerce junior JJ Morris finished 5th. Towns County’s Liam King finished eighth.
The Commerce girls finished second in the Class A Public with 108 points to ACE Charter’s 70. Lady Tigers’ freshman Paden Bell finished second in the individual race with Towns County’s Allison Markham taking 10th. The Lady Indians took 5th.
The Union County boys finished second in Class 2A as part of a dominating run for Region 8-2A teams, which had three of the top four teams. Oglethorpe County won the state title nipping the Panthers 95-99. Banks County came in fourth with 135 points.
The Banks County girls finished fourth in Class 2A (142 points) but was well behind state champion Bleckley County (49). Rabun County finished sixth and Sanchez led the Union girls to a ninth place showing.
In the Class 3A boys meet, the North Hall finished fourth (115 points) behind Jones. Westminster took the team title with 75 points. Dawson County was fifth (121 points) with Jefferson sixth, Cherokee Bluff 13th, and East Jackson coming in 17th.
In the Class 3A girls meet, seven area teams finished in the top 16, paced by Jefferson’s fourth place showing. Cherokee Bluff was sixth, North Hall took seventh, Dawson County ninth, Jackson County 11th, East Jackson 15th, and Lumpkin County 16th out of 26 teams. Westminster won the girls title.
North Hall’s Caylee Wagner took third in the individual race and was the top Public school finisher with a 20:21.37 time. Cherokee Bluff freshman Adison Myers finished 10th and Jefferson’s Katherine Law was 11th.
In the Class 4A boys meet, Chestatee finished fourth (163 points), powered by a second place individual finish from junior Luke Gaddis. Gaddis’s teammate Jonathan Torres Cruz came in 10th. St. Pius won the team title with just 49 points.
In the Class 4A girls meet, White County finished fifth (198 points) and was one of four Region 7-4A teams to finish in the top seven. However, the St. Pius girls took the title with just 46 points.
In Class 5A boys, Buford finished 17th while Johnson came in 23rd. In the Class 5A girls, Johnson finished 22nd and the Lady Wolves were 24th. Decatur won the boys title and McIntosh won the girls title.
In Class 6A boys, Gainesville took a seventh-place finish with Habersham Central finishing 16th. Harrison won the team title. The Raiders’ Thomas Hotard took fifth in the individual race.
In Class 6A girls, Gainesville took 11th behind a sixth-place finish from Ashley Thompson. Cambridge took the team title
The Riverside Military Academy boys finished 16th in the Class A Private meet.