On Tuesday, October 23rd, the Centennial Knights cross country team took a short bus ride from Centennial to Webb Bridge Park and Sports Complex in Alpharetta to compete in the Region 7-AAAAAA cross country meet. After a season of summer running, grueling workouts and competitive races, the team was hoping to peak at the right time. Entering the meet, the girl’s varsity team was one of five teams in contention to make it to the state meet in Carrolton and they put together a complete team effort to finish in 4th place and qualify for state!
The day started off with the open mixed race and junior varsity races. In the open race, Finley Corley paced the Knights male finishers with a time of 21:38 and Ally Widdman finished in 27:14 for the girls. After the open race, the JV Boys and Girls 5k races began and the JV girls demonstrated the depth on the girls’ side of the 2018 team with a 3rd place finish. Samantha Lahey and Katya Klimov led the way with top ten finishes and all five scorers for the girl’s team finished in the top thirty-five runners.
The girl’s varsity race followed and they were competing against one of the toughest regions in 6A as both Pope and Cambridge are expected to finish in the top five at state. The Knights performance showed that they belong and they have the potential to make some noise in the state meet. Isabelle Du Plessis paced the Knights with a time of 20:20 and showed that she belongs with the top runners in the region after finishing in fourth place. She outran two runners in the last hundred meters to take home a top-five finish. Another runner, Gracie Truax, who has traded the top finisher honors for the Knights all season with Du Plessis was the second finisher in ninth place. One runner who solidified the team efforts and helped the Knights lock up a spot at state was the promising freshman, Lily Williams. Williams ran one of her best races of the season, pushed her pace, and showed mental toughness to finish in 21:29. Dani Hodges and Elizabeth Buchannan rounded out the top five scorers.
For the Varsity Boys race, the Knights again faced one of the toughest regions in the state and their performance provided a lot of hope for the upcoming season as they return all of their runners. Barrett McAree paced the Knights as he has all season long with a 17:37 and top 15 finish. McAree will certainly be one of the top returning runners in the region next season. Jay Ead and Josiah Zuno were the next finishers for the Knights to show that this young, core group has the potential to climb into state contention next season. Best of luck to the Knights cross country team as they continue their season at the State Cross Country Meet next Friday, November 2nd.