For the first time in school history, the Armuchee Lady Indians are cross country state champions.

The Lady Indians brought home the 2020 GHSA Class A-Public Girls Cross County State Championship last Saturday at Carrollton High School, adding a new piece of hardware to a growing trophy case.

“I was very excited,” Armuchee cross country head coach Scott Pierce said in an emailed statement. “I try to stay calm, but I was very excited. I’ve waited a long time to get a state championship and this group gave it to me with a lot of hard work. (The girls) were very excited. A few tears and lots of hugs.”

The Lady Indians captured first out of a field of 22 teams. Armuchee’s boys’ team claimed runner up, going against 24 other schools.

The Lady Indians took third place in Class AA two years ago, while the boys were runners-up three of the previous four years.

Armuchee’s Shelby Green claimed the top spot in the Class A-Public Girls 5K Race with a time of 20:01.41. Fellow teammate Marissa Kimple was close behind her at 20:43.39, taking second overall.

“(Green’s) time is pretty good on that course; it would compare well with many other divisions,” Pierce said. “She’s a legitimate prospect (and) so is Marissa Kimble.”

Chloe Purdy was the third Lady Indian to cross the finish line at 24:23.36, good for 17th overall. Logan Lively came in close behind at 24:56.94, earning 23rd overall.

Peyton Alford clocked in at 25:48.68, becoming the 37th runner to complete the course.

Chloe Hakala and Chloe Nance closed out the Lady Indians with times of 27:28.20 and 29:07.41, respectively. Hakala took 51st while Nance sealed 75th.

As a team, the girls recorded 65 points, 19 better than second place Academy for Classical Education.

The Armuchee Indians claimed second as a team with 101 points as Commerce High School claimed its second consecutive Class A-Public state title.

“We are comfortable with the placing but expected to do better,” Pierce said. “I told (them) it’s a good sign for your program when you’re disappointed with a state runner-up finish.”

Jack Rush led the way, finishing 13th overall with a time of 19:01.73. Landon England came in close behind at 19:10.78 in 18th.

Davis Yeargan took home 21st overall with a time of 19:31.19.

Darby Hopper, Jesse Hernandez and Darrell Trejo finished back-to-back-to-back, clocking in at 19:45.10, 19:45.37 and 19:48.41, respectively. The trio were 24th, 25th and 26th in the 5K race.

Matt Campbell rounded out the Indians with a time of 20:27.55, good for 39th place.

“Our strengths in that race as it usually is was our ability to pack together and finish closely,” Pierce said. “We put five runners in the span of about 10 placings. That’s pretty hard to do in a big race.”

Pierce described Armuchee’s cross country season as “very successful,” noting that achieving a championship helps to get athletes to come out as it “lets the kids know it (is) within reach.”

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