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Gearing, Garrison win cross country state titles, Falcons come close
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State cross country championships

at Carrollton High

Individual finishers

Top 100

Class AAAAA boys

Nick Ashmead, Flowery Branch 17:24 (14th); Taylor Fiorello, Flowery Branch 17:24 (16th); Jake Shewbert, Flowery Branch 17:25 (17th); Miguel Martinez, Flowery Branch 17:32 (19th); James Slavik, Flowery Branch 17:56 (29th); Brian Young, Flowery Branch 18:05 (36th); Clayton Thayer, Flowery Branch 18:08 (39th); Tanner Peacock, Gainesville 18:40 (74th); Drew Wright, Gainesville 18:51 (89th); Diego Rangel, Gainesville 18:53 (93rd).

Class AAAAA girls

Cassie Ward, Flowery Branch 20:43 (10th); Ellie Tanner, Flowery Branch 20:51 (15th); Lauren Kirk, Flowery Branch 21:02 (18th); Breanna Fair, Gainesville 21:36 (33rd); Kaylie Tanner, Flowery Branch 21:50 (42nd); Kierstan Baltus, Flowery Branch 22:31 (72nd); Madison Gunby, Flowery Branch 22:32 (74th); Megan Kirk, Flowery Branch 22:55 (94th)

Class AAAA boys

Junior Suarez, Johnson 18:37 (60th); Jack Carnes, Chestatee 18:39 (63rd); Jose Reyes, Chestatee 18:46 (77th); Luis Castenada, Johnson 18:55 (96th).

Class AAAA girls

Tori Mullinax, Chestatee 20:54 (16th); Sarah Beth English, Chestatee 21:09 (19th); Maggee Wilson, Chestatee 22:20 (39th); Yaritza Carrillo, Chestatee 22:46 (50th); Shelby Bennett, Chestatee 22:58 (57th); Celeste Norton, Lumpkin County 23:26 (74th); JaNae Holloway, Lumpkin County 23:45 (85th).

Class AAA boys

Will Nix, North Hall 16:46 (4th), Bryce Shuebert, North Hall 17:22 (8th), Dylan Forrester, Dawson County 17:23 (9th); Zack Hill, North Hall 17:37 (17th); Seth Chapman, North Hall 17:39 (19th); Bailey Pless, North Hall 17:42 (22nd); Quintin Miles, North Hall 17:52 (26th); Tucker LoCicero, North Hall 17:57 (28th); Austin Thompson, White County 18:03 (32nd); Josh Thompson, Buford 18:11 (34th); Brandon Nguyen, West Hall 18:19 (37th); Chris Bywaletz, Dawson County 18:20 (39th); Avery Webster, Buford 18:52 (57th); Asuncion Iniquez, West Hall 19:04 (61st); Justin Pirkle, Buford (19:13) 65th; Manuel Mata, West Hall 19:16 (66th); Lionel Burgos, Buford 19:23 (73rd); Constantino Torres, Buford 19:44 (82nd); Kevin Coulter, Buford 19:48 (90th); Angel Diaz, West Hall 19:51 (93rd).

Class AAA girls

Jenna Gearing, White County 19:34 (state champion); Victoria Rogers, North Hall 20:38 (5th); Makayla Ellis, North Hall 20:41 (6th); Kristen Mitchell, White County 20:51 (8th); Ryan Sharry, West Hall 21:45 (24th); Megan Norris, White County 21:49 (26th); Kaitlyn Gearing, White County 21:54 (28th); Katie McDowell, North Hall 22:01 (31st); Taylor Long, West Hall 22:01 (33rd); Sydney Baird, Jackson County 22:40 (43rd); Sinead Obryant, White County 22:47 (45th); Teresa Jimenez, North Hall 22:54 (48th); Monica Jimenez, Jackson County 22:58 (49th); Chandler Mauney, White County 23:00 (50th); Maddie Newton, Jackson County 23:15 (54th); Chloe Maddox, White County 23:16 (55th); Caroline Dickey, North Hall 23:16 (56th); Alex Lawson , North Hall 23:16 (57th); Carrie Ruis, West Hall 23:35 (61st); Jade Perry, Dawson County 23:54 (67th); Savannah Mendenhall, North Hall 24:48 (85th); Savannah Estes, Dawson County 24:52 (87th); Taylor Grindstaff, Dawson County 24:54 (89th).

Class AA boys

Jeremy Webb, Union County 17:50 (5th); Grant Hoffman, Riverside Military 18:22 (14th); Lexx Hoya, Riverside Military 19:05 (32nd); Taylor Calderon, Riverside Military 19:28 (51st); Christopher Oster , 19:28 (52nd); Cristian Garcia, Union County 20:19 (85th); Jonathan Ray, Jefferson 20:20 (87th); Ricardo Riveria, Riverside Military 20:32 (92nd); Jared Brown, Jefferson 20:38 (97th).

Class AA girls

Emma Garrison , Union County 19:56 (state champion); Reese Bowles, Jefferson 22:02 (16th); Olivia Yates, Jefferson 22:55 (25th); Morgan Mitchell, Jefferson 23:29 (39th); Rachel Todd, Union County 23:42 (45th); Rachel Vester, Union County 23:53 (47th); Sasha Parker, Jefferson 23:53 (48th); Kaylynn Rainey, Jefferson 23:59 (52nd); Stephanie Busse, Union County 24:22 (61st); Kelsey Reschly, Jefferson 25:01 (78th); Ansley Garrison, Union County 25:03 (80th); Alyssa Arnold, Union County26:03 (94th).

CARROLLTON — The Flowery Branch cross country program had a phenomenal day at Saturday’s state cross country meet in Carrollton, even though it didn’t necessarily match their state title aspirations. The Falcons, running for the first time at state in Class AAAAA, placed both teams in the top four and a spot on the podium, along with a top 10 individual finisher in Cassie Ward (10th place, 20 minutes, 43 seconds).

“Any time you come away from state with hardware it’s a blessing,” Flowery Branch coach Jimmy Sorrells said.

Individually, White County’s Jenna Gearing in Class AAA and Union County’s Emma Garrison in Class AA — both freshman — claimed individual state championships. Gearing ran a 19:34 to earn the state championship by 47 seconds. Earlier in the day, Garrison (19:56) breezed to the Class AA title after running her first mile at 5:47 and the first two miles at a 12:19 pace.

Gearing is the first cross country state championship in White County school history, while Garrison is the first girl at Union County to win state at Carrollton.

“It feels incredible to win the state championship,” Gearing said. “I knew I would be able to come out here and run well but not this good.”

The course for this year’s race at Carrollton High was modified, adding more hills, turns and about 100 meters in length to the five-kilometer race.

The defending Class AAAA champion Falcons finished second on the boys side, led by junior Nick Ashmead’s 14th place spot (17:24). Flowery Branch was the first program in the race to have its top five cross the finish line, but was edged out by McIntosh with its first two also the top two overall for the team title. The Flowery Branch girls finished third, thanks to placing three runners in the top 20.

According to Ashmead, placing second is just incentive to work harder for next season with all of the Falcons’ top seven returning for the 2013 season. After last season’s state championship, the third for the program in school history, Flowery Branch had to replace four of the boys runners.

“Today, we ran to the best of our ability and came up short,” Ashmead said. “Our goal is always to win, so this is something to push us forward for next season.”

Also placing in the top 20 for the Flowery Branch girls were Ellie Tanner (15th, 20:51) and Lauren Kirk (18th, 21:02). The Falcons boys did a good job of keeping some of their top runners packed together with Taylor Fiorello 16th, Jake Shewbert 17th and Miguel Martinez 19th.

“We’d hoped for a little more but we can’t be disappointed with how we did to have both teams on the podium,” Flowery Branch senior Megan Kirk said.

Led by Gearing’s state championship, the Lady Warriors made the podium with a third place finish. White County had six runners in the top 50, including Kristen Mitchell in eighth place.

In Class AAA, the North Hall boys finished third, while the Lady Trojans took fifth. Witt Nix led the North Hall boys with a fourth place finish (16:46). Victoria Rogers (fifth place) and Makayla Ellis (sixth place) led the Lady Trojans to their fifth place team finish.

In Class AAAA, the Chestatee girls earned fourth, led by Tori Mullinax (16th) and Sarah Beth English (19th). The Lady War Eagles placed four runners in the top 50 overall.

The Riverside Military boys finished sixth in Class AA. Grant Hoffman ran a team-best time of 18:22 and a 14th place individual spot. Five of Riverside Military’s boys finished in the top 100, including Lexx Hoya (32nd), Taylor Calderon (51st) and Christopher Oster (52nd).

In Class AA girls, Union County placed fifth and Jefferson finished seventh.

Josh Brickell of Peachtree Ridge ran the fastest time in the state, winning the Class AAAAAA meet with a 15:55.

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