At the culmination of the prep cross country season, teams from Floyd County will be in Carrollton this weekend to go up against the top squads in Georgia at the GHSA State Cross Country Championships.
Armuchee’s boys won their fourth straight Region 7-AA title on their way to state, despite not having any runners finish in the top six, and head coach Scott Pierce said he thinks his team is ready to face the competition.
“It was a good season,” Pierce said. “I think they’re ready for state, but there are more good teams in the top six this year than I’ve ever seen.”
The top four teams and the top six individuals in region and area competition qualify for the state meet. The Class AA races begin with the boys at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and the girls’ race will follow at 11:45 a.m.
Pierce said he’s looking forward to seeing how the rest of the county teams perform as well, especially Model.
The Model boys took the No. 2 spot in the region and had the top two runners in the meet with Simon Schabort and Jordan Hellier finishing first and second, respectively.
“I’m excited for Floyd County in general,” Pierce said. “The guys have worked hard this week, and the girls are healthier than they’ve been all season, so I think we’ll run well.”
The Lady Indians also won region, despite some hardships, making it the third straight year Armuchee has swept the event.
Junior Chloe Purdy, who had been the region champion the last two years and is consistently a top runner for the Lady Indians, has been dealing with asthma problems and didn’t race her best at region as she finished in seventh place. Purdy took sixth overall in last year’s state meet.
Still, Pierce is confident in his team’s chances to find success at state. Last year, the Indians took second place, while the Lady Indians came in third.
“Last year, we had some really high goals, but this year’s goals are a little different,” Pierce said. “We want to get in the top four. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
On the boys’ side, Gordon Central and Coosa, respectively, round out the top four teams from Region 7-AA, while the top four girls teams were Armuchee, Coosa, Rockmart and Gordon Central.
In Class 5A, the Rome boys come into the state meet having won their third straight Region 7-5A championship. In the region competition, the Wolves were paced by Patrick Motes who finished in second place.
Nora Bailey was the top runner for the Lady Wolves, taking fourth place in the region.
In last year’s state competition, the Wolves had a top-10 finish with ninth place, while the Lady Wolves finished 13th.
The Class 5A races will take place Friday with the boys running at noon and the girls racing at 12:45 p.m.
In Class A, the Darlington girls took fourth place in the Area 4-A Private meet to qualify for state and were led by Kate Scott’s eighth-place finish.
The Class A Public races will be Saturday with the boys at 2 p.m. and the girls at 2:45 p.m.