By Josh Reeder, Vada Abernathy
For the first time since 2011, the Varsity Men’s Cross Country Team qualified for GHSA Cross Country State Championship, Saturday, November 5th, at Carrollton High School. Coach Karen Hinson stated that the runners were “super excited” to make State, which iis for the runners who score in top 20 in each region race around the state. Habersham finished nineteenth of 31 schools.
Even though Habersham did not place first, any appearance at state championships is an amazing feat. Habersham has put in countless months. Cross country ran in the heat of late summer, and they have ran as the weather turned cool and smoky. Cross Country has ran early in the mornings during the summer and after school each day during the week. Some runners run on their own, on weekends and at night. Junior Austin Woodall, one of the team's top runners, notes “A LOT of running and training has gone into this season”, and it seems that the Cross Country’s ability to make a name for Habersham has been largely built on hard work.
The Habersham team scored third in regionals. Their region times were: Will Hatchett (17:16), Austin Woodall (17:59), Thomas Hotard (18:07), Will Chastain (18:57), Jaron Stover (18:58), Jordan Castanada (19:02), and Rabun Bennett (19:49). They scored nineteenth out of 31 schools in the state race. Their state times were: Will Hatchett (18:41), Austin Woodall (18:51), Thomas Hotard (19:33), Will Chastain (19:49), Jaron Stover (19:23), Jordan Castaneda (20:13), Rabun Bennett (19:49). Many beat their personal records and times from previous years.
Will Hatchett and Austin Woodall, the team captains, agree that this cross country season has been the best yet and the team has worked so hard to be able to go to State. Although, many team members have been out with injuries, specifically on the women’s varsity team, the Raider Nation will still support each runner and his or her goals. The Habersham Cross Country Team has worked extremely hard this season and is very proud of their teammates and their success.