CARROLLTON — Mountain View junior Madison Watts gave the Bears girls cross country something to look forward to next year when she took the podium after a 10th-place finish at the Class AAAAAAA state cross country meet Saturday at Carrollton High School.

She posted a time of 19:38.17, four seconds from falling off the podium to 11th place. She felt good from the start but was never exactly in the first large group of runners in the first half of the race. She hovered around the top 20 before she started to gain in the second loop.

“It was tough because it was so cold out and I couldn’t feel my legs,” Watts said. “I passed a few more people and ended up getting 10th place.

She achieved the goal of a time under 20 minutes and trimmed nearly 1:30 off her sophomore state championship time from last season.

“I went 19:36, which I think is really good, really consistent with what I want,” Watts said. “It’s not far off of my PR either, which is 19:13.”

While Watts ensured Mountain View and Gwinnett County would stand on the podium in the girls Class AAAAAA division Saturday, Mountain View’s consistently top runner senior Chloe Hetherington did not record an official time in the race. She was among the top 10 runners midway through the second mile but didn’t finish.

Watts still waxed positive regarding Mountain View’s 16th-place finish as a team.

“We trained really hard trying to peak for state,” Watts said. “It really paid off.”

Woodstock’s Brynne Sumner won outright with a time of 18:36.39 as the only runner from her school to qualify for state.

Mill Creek was the top girls team in the county with three top-50 finishes and one just shy of that at No. 51. Kelsey Powell led in 33rd at 20:30.53, followed by Ana Margaret Miller (41, 20:42.72), Andrea Montes (48, 20:54.47) and Edith Kahiga (51, 20:58.00).

“We knew it was going to be a dog fight for that fifth-through-10 spot, and they came out and ran their hearts out,” Hawks coach Michael Sexton said. “Kelsey Powell ran out from the gun and took charge of the team and really stepped up and led us. Everyone else followed the game plan to a T.”

Mill Creek’s season began when the Hawks were ranked as the No. 18 team in Class AAAAAAA. The Hawks finished 10th last year and Powell was the only returning runner from that group. The Hawks graduate two of their top seven runners this year, poised to defend an area title and aim for the podium at state in 2019.

“We’re reloading really well,” Sexton said.

Brookwood, led by Reese Saddler (20:03.52), was the only other team to finish inside the top 10, but Archer finished close behind in 11th. The Tigers’ Sarah McCartney was part of a large pack and finished in 20:39.45.

The Class AAAAAAA girls also featured a handful of individual qualifiers, ranging from No. 73 to 82. Claire Mills from Parkview finished in 21:40.32, followed by Collins Hill’s Rebecca Schaeffer in 79th (21:49.64).

Discovery’s Sol Mendoza made history with her school’s first-ever cross country qualification and an 82nd overall finish (22:01.34).

GHSA 2018 CROSS COUNTRY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

CLASS AAAAAAA

GIRLS

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

1 Brynne Sumner, Woodstock HS 18:36.39

2 Ellie Hall, Marietta 18:39.09

3 Madelynne Cadeau, South Forsyth 18:39.24

4 June Mwaniki, Marietta 19:05.32

5 Nyah Hernandez, Milton HS 19:12.30

6 Grace Ellsworth, Hillgrove 19:25.51

7 Abigail Robertson, Walton HS 19:29.69

8 Taylor Cushman, Milton HS 19:34.31

9 Ani Henderson, Marietta 19:36.48

10 Madison Watts, Mountain View 19:38.17

73 Claire Mills, Parkview 21:40.32

79 Rebecca Schaeffer, Collins Hill 21:49.64

82 Sol Mendoza, Discovery 22:01.34

TEAM RESULTS

1 Marietta 49

2 South Forsyth 81

3 Walton 118

4 Milton 122

7 Mill Creek 228 (33 Kelsey Powell 20:30.53, 41 Ana Margaret Miller, 20:42.72, 48 Andrea Montes 20:54.47, 51 Edith Kahiga 20:58.00, 63 Jordyn Purnell 21:24.96, 67 Hadley Rhine 21:32.94, 72 Hannah Olive 21:39.07,

9 Brookwood 278 (17 Reese Saddler 20:03.52, 32 Hannah Gatland 20:28.91, 69 Shari Gasper 21:34.54, 86 Grace Newell 22:11.41, 88 Sophia Rodriguez 22:15.54, 90 Lauren Bennett 22:17.34, 105 Jessica Evenchick 22:45.78,

11 Archer 307 (39 Sarah McCartney 20:39.45, 53 Olivia Henry 21:05.49, 54 Kelly Connerley 21:07.57, 65 Ashley Annis 21:30.42, 108 Grace Carpenter 22:51.45, 124 Nina Lewis 23:20.33, 147 Sarah Spivey 24:21.51)

12 North Gwinnett 335 (46 Makenna Kulzer 20:44.93, 74 Abigail Snyder 21:45.58, 75 Hannah Priest 21:46.51, 76 Reese Robertson 21:47.18, 78 Erica Hambacker 21:49.35, 100 Lily Gowens 22:37.76, 122 Ellie Wilkins 23:15.41)

14 Norcross 371 (59 Merritt Blum 21:17.73, 64 Claudia Gatti 21:29.15, 77 Jennifer Price 21:48.16, 84 Ana Yerbabuena 22:04.25, 104 Dana Martinez 22:44.96, 126 Hannah Baumann 23:27.59, 132 Athena Marlin 23:34.03)

16 Mountain View 418 (10 Madison Watts 19:38.17, 81 Gahyun Kim 21:59.20, 101 Marisol Cayetano 22:40.53, 106 Samantha Carvallo 22:47.96, 140 Christiane Fletcher 24:06.26, 142 Laura Spivey 24:10.51,

20 Grayson 567 (58 Eva Ross 21:13.28, 110 Gracie Botsford 22:55.15, 133 Savannah Freeman 23:34.77, 139 Bianca Cuevas 24:04.74, 149 Madison Lard 24:27.94, 161 Blake Witmer 25:50.15, 171 Emily Weible 29:14.32)

23 Shiloh 648 (103 Hanan Jemal 22:42.39, 125 Michelle Lopez 23:26.33, 136 Tai Cossier 23:43.75, 152 Khalia Cowart 24:47.08, 157 Emily Frederick 25:04.27, 166 Zari Anderson 26:36.25, 170 Ania Polk 27:17.85)

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