Decatur High School boys’ cross country team finishes in first place at state meetThe Decatur High School boys' cross country team finished in first place at the Georgia High school Association's state cross country meet. Photo submitted by David Harbin.
Decatur, GA — The Decatur High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams finished their seasons with top performances at the Georgia High School Association’s state cross country meet on Saturday, Nov. 6, according to a press release.
The boys’ team finished in first place and are the 20211 Class 5A State Champions. Senior Christian Gonzalez finished in first place and is the individual back-to-back state champion.
“It feels great, it’s just a testament to how hard we have worked this season, but It’s impossible for us to be here without our teammates and coaches,” Gonzalez said.
He was followed by two teammates who finished in the top 10. Juniors Billy Carlton finished in third place and Jake Westing finished in ninth place.
“It’s definitely the best feeling, like I’m a part of something big for the things that I love,” Carlton said.
The boys’ team had the fastest team average time of 16:44.54, which is the third-highest team average to run on the Carrollton High School Cross Country course.
“Knowing the hard work put in and dedication towards the sport these two show, it’s no surprise to me and well deserved for them,” said Tramell Smith, assistant Decatur High School cross-country coach. “[They are] great runners and better kids and excellent teammates.
Gonzalez and Carlton represent DHS on the All-Metro XC Team. The runners will be recognized at a banquet at the Atlanta Track Club on Nov. 17. The event will recognize all honorees and announce which athletes are on the first, second and third All-Metro teams, according to 11Alive. Members of the public can vote for athletes to be named on each team.
To cast a vote, click here.
The Runner of the Year will be chosen by local coaches as well as the public.
The girls’ cross country team finished in fourth place and was led by junior Gabby Malerba. She finished in 10th place at the state meet and finished second in the region.
“Fortunately, we are only losing two seniors from the varsity team this year, and we have three ninth graders in our top seven runners,” Cross Country Coach Mary Souther said. “Thus, we have great plans and hopes for the girls team in the coming years.”
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