DeKalb was dominant in the Cross Country State Championships as four teams, including two private schools, brought home state titles Nov. 8.
It was a sweep for DeKalb County in the Class AAAAA championship meet as Clarkston won the boys’ title and Dunwoody brought home the girls’ title.
The state championship was the first for the Clarkston Angoras boys’ cross country team.
“This all began three years ago as this team dedicated itself and worked very hard to improve each year,” said Clarkston head cross country coach Wesley Etienne. “Assistant coaches Dione Hester and Jamia Byrd helped me create a better culture with some great kids. I could not ask for a better group of people to work with here.”
Junior Abbas Abbkar led the way for Clarkston, finishing sixth with a time of 16:38.66. Senior Gidey Sahlu finished at 14th with a time of 16:57.93, sophomore Suheib Mohamed came in at 25th with a time of 17:25.29, and freshman Awet Fitwi rounded out the top 30 runners from Clarkston, coming in at 27th overall with a time of 17:30.19.
“I am very thankful for all the support of the other DeKalb County cross country coaches and other coaches across the state for their support whenever I called them,” Etienne said. “The parents and other supporters in the DeKalb County School District were also very much a part of this state championship.”
The Dunwoody Lady Wildcats won their second state title in three years with a 77-95 win over Starr’s Mill. Dunwoody coach Bryan Boucher said the team had a “great and historic day.”
“The girls on the team worked hard to earn their second state championship in three years,” Boucher said. “This race was truly a team effort as we were able to place our top five runners in a strong pack from places 5 to 30 to pace our way to victory.”
Freshman Kelly May Sheehan led the way for Dunwoody, finishing fifth with a time of 20:04.00. Junior Ansley Heavern was the next Wildcat to finish, coming in at 12th with a time of 20:37.50.
Freshman Samantha Cameron was right behind Heavern at 13th with a time of 20:38.30. Junior Ann-Marie Sills finished 17th (21:02.40) and senior Ellie Conoley came in at 30th (21:32.40).
“We were proud to share the podium with the Clarkston boys for a DeKalb County sweep in the Class AAAAA races,” Boucher said. “It was a great day for the Wildcats and one we will remember for years to come.”
The St. Pius boys’ team won its fifth consecutive title and its eighth title in program history. The Golden Lions won the Class AAAA title with a 55-94 win over Marist. Senior Stephen Martinez led St. Pius finishing third with a time of 16:26:22.
Senior Nik Calia finished seventh with a time of 16:45.88, and senior Ryan Kelly rounded out St. Pius’ top 10 finishers with a ninth place finish (16:51.51).
Marist had one top 10 finisher in junior Frank Pittman, who finished second with a time of 16:24.37.
Marist girls won their seventh consecutive title and 15th in program history with a 20-117 win over St. Pius in the Class AAAA meet. Marist had runners finished in the top three. Senior Morgan Ilse won the individual title with a time of 18:25.90. Freshman Josie Wirtz finished second with a time of 19:18.88 and senior Caitie Faust rounded out the top three with a time of 19:26.62.
Sophomore Kendall Nelson (seventh) and senior Emily Harrast (ninth) rounded out the top 10 finishers with times of 20:07.37 and 20:19.73 respectively. Marist was undefeated in 2014 meets and defended its No. 1 ranking in Georgia for the second consecutive year.
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