On October 26, the Athens Academy girls and boys cross country teams ran in the regional championships and both placed second, sending them to the state meet hosted on November 3 in Carrollton, Georgia. Spending the night in Carrollton on Thursday night, the team woke up early on a Friday morning to race.
Running a 20:07 minute 5k, senior Anna Marion Block earned herself fifth place in the race, with other seniors Emily Elder (21:49) and Sara Irvine (23:15) following behind. Freshmen Lucy Waugh (23:04) and Kate Kleiber (24:14) got to experience the challenges the state course offered for the first time, and both of them tackled the challenge extremely well. Sophomores Kate Branch (24:11) and Eleanor Connolly (24:52), having it been their second year at the state meet, enjoyed the challenges the course brought for the second time. Overall, the girls team placed third and earned a spot on the podium.
The boys team also had a fantastic run, with sophomore Graham Blanks placing fourth in the race with a 5k time of 17:13. Following behind him, senior Ryan Iyer (17:44) and junior Alex Branch (18:20) showed off their hard training all year and laid it all on the course. Sophomore Elliot Williamson achieved a time of 19:38 minutes, with senior Storey Reynard following shortly behind him with a 19:52 minute time. Sophomore Trevor Bone had a phenomenal race, scoring a time of 20:03 with freshman Lewis Scruggs following behind with a 20:04 5k time. The boys team placed sixth in the state meet, and showed off their incredible training all season long.
The whole team had a wonderful season this year, and everyone was thankful to share the experience with all of the great people who devote their time to the sport. The team would like to thank the wonderful seniors Anna Marion Block, Emily Elder, Sara Irvine, Storey Reynard, and Peyton Bowden for their excellent leadership to everyone and being such fantastic role models for the future team to aspire to being, as well as the coaches Geoffrey Walton, Neville Anderson, Zach Farmer, and Beck Coxhead for leading the team to state and showing them that working hard and devoting time to running pays off. This season was a fantastic one for the Athens Academy cross country team and the school community should be proud of our accomplishments this season.