By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
High school cross country: Hall County's top runners gearing up for state championships in Carrollton
North Hall girls lead the race to start the Hall County championship on Sept. 24, 2022 at the North Hall Community Center. - photo by Bill Murphy

With the strength of cross country in Hall County, there will be ample placers, both individually and in the team standings this weekend in Carrollton. 

But, will there be any state champions?

Based on the race results from the past three months of the season, there’s a good chance of that happening. 

In Class 4A, North Hall’s girls have been on a roll, after cruising to the Region 8-4A championship on Oct. 25 in Helen. 

Currently ranked No. 3 in the state, the Lady Trojans are in the thick of the pack against private-school powerhouses Pace Academy, Lovett and Westminster. 

“We’re running with the goal of winning the state title,” Trojans coach Sam Borg said. “There’s a lot on the line. It would mean so much for our program to win the state championship.”

Meanwhile, Gainesville senior John Jessup (who won the Region 8-6A title with a time of 16 minutes, 13 seconds) has bolstered its region-championship program as he looks to win it all in Class 6A. 

“I’m really excited to see what I can do at state,” Jessup said. “Carrollton is a tough course, but I’m capable of doing really well.”

On Saturday, races in Class 4A, 5A and 6A will be contested by Hall County’s top high school runners. 

In Class 4A, North Hall enters state as the top program out of Region 8-4A, after sweeping the championships on the five-kilometer course at Unicoi State Park. 

The Lady Trojans are anchored by region champion and state’s third-ranked runner Clodagh O’Bryant, who ran a time of 19:10 at region in Helen. 

North Hall also had the next two best runners with Abi Moore second overall (19:50) and Harleigh Smith in third (20:06).

The Trojans boys also enter state as region champion. 

Also in Class 4A, the back-to-back state champion Chestatee boys look to make some noise at state, led by Region 8-4A runner-up Aaron Retana (16:34).

“The Chestatee boys have a strong group,” Borg said. “They should be in the top 7 or 8 also.”

Meanwhile, Gainesville enters state after sweeping Region 8-6A titles.

Also for the Red Elephants boys, Conner Proffitt ran a third-place time of 16:34 at the Region 8-6A championship.

From Flowery Branch, senior Bella Brick enters state as the Hall County champions and Region 8-5A champion, running a time of 19:48 on Oct. 22 in Winder. 

Cross country state championships

Saturday’s schedule

at Carrollton High

11 a.m.: Class 4A boys (North Hall, Chestatee and Cherokee Bluff)

11:45 a.m.: Class 4A girls (North Hall, Chestatee and Cherokee Bluff)

12:30 p.m.: Class 6A boys (Gainesville)

1:15 p.m.: Class 6A girls (Gainesville)

2 p.m.: Class 5A boys (Flowery Branch)

2:45 p.m.: Class 5A girls (Flowery Branch)

Friends to Follow social media