That is beginning to change as the school’s girls team is emerging as a team to watch in the future.
With junior MacKenzie Mabrey leading a group of promising freshmen, the North Atlanta girls have won the school’s first city cross country championship and have put together some of the best finishes at major meets that the program has ever accomplished.
“The girls have had really great success this season,” North Atlanta coach George Sanderlin said. “The girls have re-written our top 25 performance list. They’ve scored 16 of the best 25 times in school history. They have really done a good job.”
The biggest achievement for the North Atlanta girls is winning the girls team title at the Atlanta Public Schools Championship last Wednesday at Grant Park.
The Lady Warriors scored 28 points to edge out rival Grady (31) for the team title, the first one ever for the school.
“Our biggest goal this year was to win the city championship and we we able to do it,” Sanderlin said. “I’m proud of the girls and their effort.”
North Atlanta also finished sixth at the Aubrae Gunderson Invitational in Conyers Sept. 29, the best finish ever for the school in a major meet, and also placed 12th at the Coach Benson Double Dip at Marist Sept. 15.
The Lady Warriors have taken their step forward with a team that consists primarily of freshmen.
“We’ve got a young team,” Sanderlin said. “Four of our top eight are freshmen. They’ve been running at Sutton Middle School and they have developed as runners, so we have great hopes for them in the future.”
Leading the way for North Atlanta is Mabrey, who ran a school-best 21:45 at the Aubrey Gunderson meet and finished third individually at the city championships.
Freshmen Abigail Shipps, Lydia Zemmali, Madeline Pearce and Glenda Tutt have formed the core of what could be a strong North Atlanta girls squad for the next few years, while junior Taylor Samples and sophomore McKenna Johnson are the other key runners for the Lady Warriors.
North Atlanta is now setting its sights on the Region 6AAAAA meet, which will be held on Saturday in Decatur as the Lady Warriors aim for a top-four finish and their first state meet appearance in several years.
“We have a good shot at a top-four finish and making it to state,” Sanderlin said. “We’re excited about out chances.”