X-C Crosses Finish Line

Sophomore Cali Ruth Hays led the girls cross country team at the state championship meet at Loganville last Saturday, Oct. 26, racing to a 4th-place individual finish and earning All-State honors.

The girls – who won the state championship last year – finished 5th overall at the state meet, while the boys finished 6th.

Hays, who led the girls team all year long, ran a season-best time of  20:36 and was named to the GISA AAA All-State Team.

Senior Trevor Hill was the top boys finisher, running his personal best time of 18:50, and junior Griffin Hutchins was only a few seconds behind him in 18:55.

Mount De Sales Academy won the girls championship, while Southland Academy won the boys title.

Boys Coach Ian Hayley said he was satisfied with the boys’ season.

“I thought based on the results of our other meets we would come in 8th, but the boys ran well and four of the guys ran their best times yet.  I think the boys were more disappointed because they were really hoping to outrun Mount De Sales,” Hayley said.

The end of the cross country season also included the varsity boys and girls teams’ annual trip to Florida to compete in the Disney Cross Country Classic on Friday, Oct. 11.

“It gives them something to aim for because we usually take the top 7, although this year all the girls went since we had such a small group,” Girls Coach Ginny Reeves said.

The team left on a Friday and ran in the race that the evening, with the girls taking 2nd place. The team then spent Saturday and Sunday at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and the Magic Kingdom. Both teams got back to work on Monday, practicing in Florida before heading home.

“The trip was successful because of the great weather and most of the girls ran their best times in the race,” Reeves said.

 “It was a ton of fun because we all got to hang out and ride rides at Disney and it was really good team bonding,” junior Virginia Ann Lineberger said.

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Sophomore Cali Ruth Hays

Both teams took only their top seven runners to the state meet.

The top seven girls were Hays, Conner Hefner, Carly Wanna, Julianna  Hightower, Gracen Boatright, Ally Raymond, and Ellie Peterson.

The top seven boys included Hill, Hutchins, Sam Jenkins, Dylan Ogle, Chandler Banks, Will Bowdoin and Mitchell  Freyermuth.

Although the girls were defending their title at the state meet, Coach Reeves just expected the girls to do their personal best.

“All I want is for the girls to all run their best times and then  if they all do that we can finish at the top,” Reeves said.