It's four straight state championships for the Middle School cross country program at Holy Innocents' Episcopal School.
Coach Gary Klingman and his young runners were dominant once again in the Georgia State Middle School State Championships in Cochran, Ga., on Saturday morning, with the girls taking third and the boys first, giving the Running Bears an overall top finish once again.
“This one was special because the kids wanted it so much,” Klingman said. “We didn’t have a runner in the top-10 and only one in the top-25 but we still won it. That just goes to show what we’ve been preaching all year – it’s not about winning the race but about running as a team! The kids ran in packs and that’s why we went home with the top trophy.”
The Bears also came home with JV trophies – the girls JV took first out of 21 teams while the boys were third out of 21.
The top girls’ squad captured third among 27 teams and were led by Bryn Foster, Eliza Harman, Meredith Strom and Kate Waters. All four earned medals for their races.
The boys – earning their crown among 31 teams – were paced by Kent Malcolm (top-25), Liam Love, Kyle Jones Shah, Blake Morain and Will Domescik.
The boy’s JV got great runs out of Blake Ainsworth, Phillip Clendenin and Jamie LaFramboise; the girls JV had stellar performances from Annie Sager (2nd overall), Grayson Hix (3rd), Maddie Lowe (4th) and Jessica McNair (5th). Ellie Crosswell, Hywot Ayana and Katie Little also medaled.