The conclusion of the fall sports seasons of volleyball and cross country saw the crowning of several local programs as state champions featuring some achieving the ultimate goal for the first time while others continued their winning legacies.
The GHSA State Cross Country Championships were held in Carrollton Nov. 1 and 2.
The Wesleyan boys’ team won the Class A Private state title for the second-consecutive year. The Wolves finished the team competition with 69 points led by Mac Howie earning fourth and Stafford McDaniel placed seventh individually. Holy Innocents’ was second with 97 points with Joe Sapone gaining sixth individually. Whitefield was sixth in the team event led by Devin Wade’s third-place finish in the individual standings.
“Our team ran a very patient race and executed the strategy to perfection,” Wolves coach Chad McDaniel said. “I am extremely proud of how hard they worked this season and with such purpose toward a singular goal, but I am most thankful for how they continually make an investment in each other, in the sport and in our coaching staff. They put together a total team effort and were able to get the win.”
The Wesleyan girls’ team placed third in the team competition that was won by Holy Innocents’.
The Cambridge girls’ team won its third-consecutive Class 6A state title with 105 points, finished ahead of second-place Allatoona at 114. Ashley Sechrest was the fastest Bears’ runner with a fifth place finish. Johns Creek finished fourth in the team competition with Agam Horowitz placing sixth individually for the Gladiators.
The Class 4A girls’ competition saw Blessed Trinity runners place first and second respectively in the individual competition. Hannah Miniutti won the event in a time of 18:51.49 and was followed by teammate Kelly Ann Sutterfield at 18:57.90. The Titans finished second in the team competition with 50 points only behind winner St. Pius X at 46.
Denmark runner Ethan Ashley placed fourth in the Class 4A boys’ individual standings. The Danes placed second and Blessed Trinity fifth in the team competition won by St. Pius X.
Cambridge and Alpharetta placed second and third respectively in the Class 6A boys’ team event which was won by Harrison.
Rounding out the local cross country results was Milton finishing fifth in Class 7A girls’ team competition won by Hillgrove. Eagles’ runner Nyah Hernandez was sixth in the individual standings.
The GHSA Volleyball State Finals were in Marietta on Nov. 2 and Blessed Trinity brought home its seventh state title in program history and first since 2016. The Titans won the Class 4A final over St. Pius X 3-1 (25-21, 26-24, 15-25, 27-25) led by a team-high 14 kills from McKenna Nelson, 12 from Kaya Hood and 11 from Alyssa Parodi. Five Blessed Trinity players had double-digits in digs including a game-high 41 from Abbie Granson and Reese Hall’s 20. Megan Swade (team-high 26 assists, 13 digs) and Ashlynn Barnes (23 assists, 13 digs) each posted double-doubles for the Titans.
“The keys to the match for us were spreading the ball around, winning long rallies, and keeping St. Pius X out of system,” Blessed Trinity coach Allison Boes said. “We knew they had a really solid defense, so being patient with hitting and winning the long rallies was key. It truly was a team win all-around.”
The Titans were the top seed from Region 7AAAA and defeated Chapel Hill, Columbus, Heritage (Catoosa) and Sandy Creek to reach the state finals.