Ruby Little Marist

Marist sophomore Ruby Little was named the girls runner of the year for the Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro cross country team.

A large number of local high school cross country runners were honored for their outstanding seasons with their selection to the Atlanta Track Club All-Metro team.

The local runners were among the 42 high school cross country athletes who were honored for their selection to the All-Metro team at a banquet Nov. 17 held by the Atlanta Track Club in midtown Atlanta.

Marist sophomore Ruby Little was named girls runner of the year. Little, who never finished lower than second in a race the entire season, won the Class AAAA girls individual title at the state cross country meet in Carrollton Nov. 5 to lead the War Eagles to the AAAA team title.

She ran a personal-best time of 17 minutes, 49.90 seconds at the adidas XC Challenge in Cary. N.C. Sept. 18, the second fastest time of the 2021 season among girls’ state high school runners.

Three local state champions were named to the girls’ first team — Pace Academy sophomore Caroline Hood (AA), Atlanta International senior Cara Joyce (A Private) and St. Pius X junior Grace Von Biberstein (AAAAA) — as well as North Atlanta junior Clara Heppner, who finished runner up in AAAAAA.

Hood recorded the fastest time of the 2021 season among state high school girls cross country runners — a time of 17:36.64 at the Region 6AA meet at Clinton Farms in Douglas County Oct. 23.

It was the fourth year in a row that Joyce, a Yale commitment, was selected to the All-Metro team.

Two local runners were chosen to the boys’ first team — Pace Academy senior Edward Blaha, the AA champion, and Westminster senior Matthew Fernando, the AAA champion.

Holy Innocents’ junior Joe Sapone, the Class A Private boys champion, was selected to the boys’ second team, while North Atlanta sophomore Catherine Townsend, who finished third in the girls AAAAAA race, was chosen for the girls’ second team.

Westminster junior Palmer Walstead, the AAA girls champion, was among the local runners selected to the girls’ third team, along with Pace senior Laura Arenth (AA runner up) and Marist seniors Johna Grisik (AAAA runner up) and Nicole Pizzo (AAAA third-place finisher).

Boys third team selections included Whitefield Academy senior Peyton Golden — the Class A Private boys runner up — and Marist freshman Tommy Latham, who finished third in AAAA.

Holy Innocents’ coach Stephen Jayaraj was awarded the Coaches Dedication Award, which is given every year to coaches with outstanding career achievements and contributions to cross country.

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