XC Team Ends Season with Top Individual and Team State Placements

Gunner Bryson, Staff Writer

The Cross Country team had another great season this year with the team competing in many races this season. We competed in the Cherokee County Classic, Run at the Rock, NGXC League Meet in Rocky Face, the Southern Showcase, NGXC League Meet at Edwards Park, NGXC League Meet “5 Star Stride,” NGXC League Meet “Grove Level,” NGXC League Meet at Heritage Fast Break, and, finally, the Region 7AAAA Championship and the State AAAA Championship. Coach Craft singled out the Southern Showcase in Birmingham, AL as one of the best meets of the season. “We had the most Season Bests/Personal Records of the season,” he said. “The race was a huge, high-level event, and everyone that was able to attend had a great time. The race ended memorably with the team having to pack up in a flooding, monsoon rain storm but, overall a great time was had by all.”

Both the HHS Girls and Boys qualified for State with a third place finish at the Region Championship. Individually, senior Gavin Chandler (who battled back after weeks of sickness) led the generals by medaling with a third place finish. Senior Davis Justice finished in the top ten with a seventh place Region finish. The following runners had a Top 25 finish: Will Riddell (12th place), Collin Black (22nd), and Cecil Bussey (23rd). For the first time this season, all the Varsity Girls finished the 5K race in under 25 minutes. Freshman Zoie St John led the Girls Team by medaling with a sixth place Region finish. The following runners had a Top 25 finish: Mia Callahan (17th), Lila Langston (20th), Anna Bradford (22nd), Alexis Faul (24th), Mady Terry (25th). Allie Mifflin also qualified for State while Lily Langston qualified as an Alternate. The JV Girls Team finished second in the Region. Lily Langston placed sixth, and Camryn McCormick placed seventh. At State, the Varsity Boys placed 11th and the Girls placed 12th out of 28 teams. Senior Davis Justice led the Generals by finishing 32nd out of 199 runners. Will Riddell and Gavin Chandler both finished in the Top 50. The following runners improved their time over last year: Davis Justice, Gavin Chandler, and Grayson Stallings. Freshman Zoie St. John led the Girls team by finishing 24th out of 186 runners. Mia Callahan, Alexis Faul, Lila Langston, Allie Mifflin, and Mady Terry all improved their time from last year.

Coach Crowder is very proud of how the team ran this season. “I am most proud of moments when our teammates come together to cheer on runners, as well as those that got their personal record(s). More specifically, I am proud of Zoie St. John, Davis Justice, Will Riddell, and Gavin Chandler for placing in the top 50 in the state championship,” he said. Coach Craft noted that he was “proud that the team worked hard, overcame the adversity of illness and Covid.” The group of individuals came together as a team and finished as one of the best teams in the State,” he said, “and no one quit.  Everyone that started the season finished the season.”