Gra­cie O’neal wins sec­ond straight state XC ti­tle

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - By Scott Herpst sherpst@npco.com

Last Novem­ber, then-sopho­more Gra­cie O’neal won her first state cross coun­try cham­pi­onship by a full two min­utes over her next clos­est com­peti­tor.

Twelve months later, O’neal only won by a mere 1:54.

The pro­hibitive fa­vorite com­ing into Satur­day’s Class A Pub­lic School state cham­pi­onships in Car­roll­ton, the Gor- don Lee ju­nior crossed the line in a time of 20:56 to make it back-to-back state ti­tles. Jenk­ins County’s Brett Land­ing (22:50.33) out-leaned Telfair County’s Paige White (22:50.66) at the tape to take run­ner-up hon­ors.

Kay­lan Jack­son (24:46) would fin­ish 13th for Gor­don Lee, fol­lowed by an 18th place fin­ish by Tay­lor Hun­ley (25:05). Also rac­ing for the Lady Tro­jans were Kayelee Bell (28:25), Em­i­lie Eldridge (28:52) and Lexie Ten­nant (31:02).

Gor­don Lee fin­ished fourth over­all with 128 points, trail­ing only Telfair County (39), ACE Char­ter (69) and At­lanta Clas­si­cal Academy (81) in the team stand­ings.

Af­ter plac­ing third in the team stand­ings in 2016 and earn­ing the state run­ner-up tro­phy in 2017, the Gor­don Lee Tro­jans ar­rived at Car­roll­ton on Satur­day hop­ing to take home the state’s big­gest tro­phy this time around.

Gor­don Lee’s Gra­cie O’neal won her sec­ond con­sec­u­tive Class A Pub­lic School state cross coun­try in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­onship in Car­roll­ton on Satur­day, beat­ing the rest of the field by nearly two min­utes.

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