One of the most successful distance runners to come out of Rome will address the area’s current high school athletes who have followed in his footsteps.

Dr. David Herren, who won state titles in both track and cross country while at Rome High School, will be the guest speaker at the 2019 GoGo Running All-Area Cross Country Banquet next month, which honors the top high school cross country runners of this past season.

In addition to the honors the All-Area Boys’ and Girls’ teams will receive, the boys’ and girls’ Runners of the Year and Coaches of the Year will be announced at the banquet, which will be Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Krannert Center at Berry College.

Herren graduated from Rome High in 2003 after a stellar career where he won five state championships, including the Class 4A boys’ cross country title in his senior year. He also won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter crowns as both a junior and a senior.

Herren went on to run at Georgia Tech where he earned Academic All-America honors in cross country and became just the fifth runner in the program’s history to qualify for the NCAA National Championship.

He also served as the Yellow Jackets’ team captain in track.

A board-certified ophthalmologist, Herren has practiced at the Harbin Clinic Eye Center since 2016.

As usual, this year’s banquet precedes the annual Rome Half Marathon, which is Dec. 14 at State Mutual Stadium. In addition to the 13.1-mile titular half marathon, the event — presented by GoGo Running and Redmond Regional Medical Center — includes a 5K as well.

The Rome Half Marathon will once again benefit Rome-area middle and high school running programs, as well as the Haven Health Clinic of Rome. The event has raised nearly $15,000 in the last six years. The requirement for schools to be eligible for a donation is to have volunteers to help with the race.

All of the races of the Rome Half Marathon and 5K start and end at State Mutual Stadium, with the 5K starting at 8 a.m. and the half marathon starting at 8:05. All finishers receive long sleeve T-shirts and will enjoy a post-race pancake breakfast provided by the Rome Braves.

To register and for more information on the 2019 Rome Half Marathon, and the GoGo Running All-Area Banquet, go to www.romehalf.com or contact GoGo Running at The Shoe Box at 706-291-0752.

The 2019 GoGo Running All-Area Cross Country Teams are:

GIRLS

FIRST TEAM

Nora Bailey (Rome), Shelby Green (Armuchee), Ashley Hartness (Calhoun), Lucia Loarca (Rome), Ashley Morales (Rome), Jessie Schroeder (Model), Kaitlyn Stahl (Rome).

HONORABLE MENTION

Emily Bartleson (Rome), Malorie Bradfield (Rockmart), Tiffany Creel (Unity Christian), Anna Gibson (Calhoun), Maggie Hawkins (Darlington), Brisa Lopez (Calhoun), Elizabeth Peyton (Calhoun), Kate Scott (Darlington), Grace Stanley (Armuchee), Riley Triplett (Sonoraville).

MS RUNNER OF THE YEAR

Marissa Kimple (Armuchee)

BOYS

FIRST TEAM

Felipe Barrios (Calhoun), Ryan Glass (Rome), Trace Harris (Rome), Jordan Hellier (Model), Gary Jones (Rome), Patrick Motes (Rome), Simon Schabort (Model).

HONORABLE MENTION

Duncan Blankenship (Model), Dawson Brown (Trion), John Prosser Deaton (Darlington), Joey Kowalczewski (Gordon Central), Josh Martinez (Coosa), Tom Vincent (Pepperell), Christian Weatherby (Pepperell), Avery Wright (Rome), Tucker Wright (Rome), Davis Yeargen (Armuchee).

MS RUNNER OF THE YEAR

Ben Owens (St. Mary’s)

Each runner named to the first team receives two tickets to the banquet, while each runner named honorable mention receives one ticket. High school coaches also receive two tickets. Additional tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. Those attending are asked to RSVP by email to karmen@gogorunning.com.

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