Columbia County schools showed their cross country prowess both as teams and individuals at Saturday’s Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA State cross country meet.
At Carrollton, Ga., Lakeside High School freshman Alyssa Hooker concluded her freshman season with a fifth-place finish in 20:05.74, earning all-state honors while leading the Lady Panthers (167) to a second-place finish behind Northview (104).
Greenbrier’s Lady Wolfpack (433) were 19th and Evans (731) was 25th.
After finishing sixth in the state in 2012, Evans’ Justin Weegar (16:42.59) led the county boys coming across in third; Lakeside’s Christian Bowles (16:56.96) was ninth, both earning all-state honors.
Lakeside’s boys (204) finished fourth with Greenbrier (215) just behind in fifth; Evans (501) was 19th.
Lakeside head coach Jerry Meitin was happy with both of his teams.
“It was a total team effort as all athletes ran well,” said Meitin.
“Alyssa Hooker’s fifth-place finish gives us hope for high finishes the next three years since she is just a freshman...The boys team achieved their goal of being on the podium in fourth place.”
Following Hooker was Lara Way (20:44.43) in 19th, Jasmine Payne (21:06.56) 29th, Hannah Marionneaux (21:15.46) in 36th and Grace Huber (22:17.40) in 87th, all of whom bested their times from the region championships the previoius week.
Greenbrier head coach Kati Smallwood hoped for a higher finish on the boys side, but her top runner Logan Hughes was ailing.
“Logan was terribly sick Saturday morning and really could barely breathe,” said Smallwood.
“He fell way back during the race and I was worried that we wouldn’t even get in the top 10. However, the rest of the boys really pulled it out and we ended up fifth.”
Evans coach Lisa Chizmar was pleased with the way her squads ran.
“Both Evans teams pulled together and completed their seasons satisfied with their times but with their eyes on next year’s goals.”