By: Gabby Freeman
The Cougars recently competed at the GHSA State Cross Country Championship. The top seven girl and boy runners represented Newnan in a field of over two hundred runners.
The GHSA State Cross Country Championship was held at Carrollton High School on November 7th. It was a double loop course.
The course was in poor condition due to the extensive amount of rain the area received over the week and day of the race. Newnan ran at 2:50 pm and 3:30 pm, the second to last races of the day.
State races began at 7:45 am. Ten races had already taken place on the course by the time the boys ran at 2:50 pm, contributing to the deteriorated course condition.
The boys’ team placed 29th out of a field of 32 teams. The boys that competed were Sam Coody (19:34), Enrique Instroza (20:05), Nolan Caroll (20:25), Will Thomas (20:30), Eli Moore (20:43), Ryan Cost (21:10) and Patrick Boren (21:58).
The girls’ team placed 25th. The girls that represented Newnan were Mary Douglass Hallman (23:21), Julia Sanders (24;27), Mallory Greene (24:29), Caroline Thomas (24:37), Lindley Hudson (25:46), Emma Morris (25:53) and Gabby Freeman (26:13).
The AAAAAA GHSA State Championship was the final meet of the season, but the season contained more excitement, mud and sweat.
The Cougars competed in eight meets this season. Each of the eight meets gave runners a chance to drop their times as well as allowing the team to grow together.
The Coweta County Championship Cup was one of the highlights of the team’s season. The Coweta Cup was hosted at East Coweta High School. Newnan, Northgate and East Coweta met to the decide the victor.
The Newnan JV Girls placed first, keeping East Coweta from having a clean sweep. Despite Newnan’s strong times and efforts, East Coweta claimed the Coweta Cup for Varsity Boys, Varsity Girls and JV Boys.
Mary Douglas Hallman won the Varsity Girls race with a time of 20:15.51. This is the second year in a row that a Newnan High School Varsity Girl runner has been the overall champion. Lizzie Westerfield was the champion last year.
In the Varsity Girls’ race, following Hallman a pack of East Coweta girls took the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place but were around 1 minute 15 seconds behind Hallman. In a photo finish, Caroline Thomas beat East Coweta’s Riley Walsh by a knee’s length.
After review, Thomas was declared the 5th place winner. Thomas finished with a time of 21:49.47. Mallory Greene was the next Cougar to finish posting a career best of 22:18 and placing 7th. Julia Sanders followed Greene also posting a career best with a time of 22:48. Lindley Hudson was the next Newnan runner to finish with a time of 23:21. Sydney Hall finished next with a time of 23:52. Gabby Freeman rounded out the Varsity Girls with a time of 23:52.
The NHS Boys Varsity were the next team to race. Nolan Carroll was the first NHS representative to cross the finish line. Carroll finished in third place overall with a time of 17:37. Sam Coody was the next finisher for Newnan coming in at 18:00 flat in 9th place overall.
Will Thomas was right behind Coody finishing in 10th place with a time of 18:05. Ryan Cost followed Thomas with a time of 18:19. Patrick Boren was the next Newnan finisher with a time of 19:07. James Donovan finished with a time of 19:55. Eli Moore was the final NHS runner coming in at 20:03.
The NHS JV Girls team came in first place. The NHS JV Girls team swept the first four places. Emily Flournoy was the first place overall finisher with a time of 23:08. This is the first time that Flournoy has won a race.
Emma Morris finished second place overall with a time of 24:23. Darby Cook finished in third place overall finishing with a time of 24:32.
Elizabeth Woodham was the fourth place finisher with a time of 24:26. Savannah Sherrer finished in 6th place with 25:21. Paige Batten placed 7th with a time of 25:28. Sisdel Bach finished next for the cougars with a time of 26:11. Olivia Hrinko followed Bach with a time of 26:12. Caroline Ferguson and McKenzie Snyder rounded out the JV team with times of 29:58 and 30:08.
Newnan Cross County began to final leg of its season after the Coweta Cup, competing at and hosting the Region 3-AAAAAA
The Region 3-AAAAAA Championship was hosted by NHS at Carl Miller Park and featured eight teams from across the region.
The home course advantage paid off for the Cougars. The Varsity Girls placed second as a team overall. The Varsity Boys placed third overall. The JV Girls team placed first. The JV Boys placed second.
Coach Morris commented “Seeing both the girls and boys beat East Coweta was my favorite moment of the season.”
The top four teams at the region meet qualified for state. The qualifying teams were Campbell High School, Douglas County, East Coweta High School and NHS.
The Cougars had a great season. All runners improved their times from the start to the final finish line of the season.
Coach Morris said “seeing the growth in each runner from the beginning of the season to the end and getting to watch individuals realize their goals” was one of her favorite parts of coaching this Fall.