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Area runners finish strong in Carrollton
by Chase Wallace
November 14, 2012 12:05 PM | 2724 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
North Fulton schools and runners alike represented themselves well at last Saturday’s GHSA Cross Country State Championship races in Carrollton with three local teams making their way to the podium, two individuals running to state runner-up finishes and one talented senior capturing an individual state title.

Johns Creek senior Allie Buchalski defended her state championship, and won the third state title of her career by winning the Class AAAAAA title with a time of 18 minutes and 46.23 seconds. Her run also vaulted the Lady Gladiators to an eighth place finish overall as a team.

Buchalski bested Milton senior Annie Kelly in the race. Kelly’s runner-up time of 18:57.53 was the second fastest time on the Carrollton course across all five classifications, was 20 seconds faster than the third fastest time and was 35 seconds swifter that the third place finisher in AAAAAA. Her time also lifted the Lady Eagles to a podium finish, taking fourth place overall at the meet.

Erin Gant (23rd overall) and Sunshine Flamer (26th) helped lead the Roswell Lady Hornets to a tenth place finish in the girls division of Class AAAAAA.

Milton’s Nate Reich, also a senior, matched Kelly’s runner-up finish with a second-place run of his own — completing the five kilometer course in 16:26.81. Miles Dayoub posted a 14th place finish for Milton as the Eagles team was the only area boys team to finish in the top 10, taking sixth.

In Class AAAAA, Region 7AAAAA champion Northview took eighth place overall, led by a sixth place finish (20:26.06) from star-runner .

Blessed Trinity’s girls’ team was the highest finishing girls’ squad in north Fulton, finishing as the state runner-ups to state-power St. Pius X.

The Lady Titans placed all five of their runners in the top 21 and finished the meet with just 63 total points. Anna Gandolfo led the way in fourth place (20:38.44), Natalie Kile took 10th (20:54.33), Bailey Willett placed 13th (21:03.55), Katie McConnell finished 20th (21:28.90) and Mary Clair Solomon crossed the finish line in 21st (21:30.75).

The Titan Boys also ran well in Carrollton, sneaking onto the podium in fourth place overall. Matt Munns was BT’s top finisher in seventh place (17:15.00) with Ben Sowell (14th, 17:34.49), Will Murray (16th, 17:36.54) and Patrick O’Grady (18th, 17:39.33) also finishing in the top 20.

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