Cross Country season caps at state meet

The Southerner

The girls and boys cross country teams ended their 2016 seasons with the girls team placing fifth overall and the boys placing 12th at the annual state meet.

“I think they both ran as expected,” coach Jeff Cramer said. “Positive attitudes by everyone are my best assessment of success, and we did very well on that front.”

The projected state ranking of the boys team by proved accurate at 12th place. The girls team outperformed its seventh place, pre-meet ranking by two places.

In order for the teams to qualify for state the state meet, they had to qualify during the regional meet. They did so with some comfort, as junior Aidan Goldston claimed a second-place finish at region, firing the boys team into a third place position. The girls finished second in Region 6AAAAA and bested former regional champion Decatur, which finished sixth in the state meet.

When they arrived at the state meet in Carrollton on Nov. 5, the teams quickly realized the race would be no walk in the park due to the dusty conditions of the course.

“Because the course wasn’t muddy like it was last year, there was a ton of dust that ended up making it difficult to breathe,” said Goldston. Referring to the state meet in 2015, Goldston said last year’s conditions were “great in comparison.”

Junior Magda Dumitrescu labeled this year’s meet as “dusty as heck.”

Each team is allowed seven runners for each gender to compete in the state meet. The boys were Goldston, Isaiha Davis, Erik Tischer, Bram Mansbach, Reid Barry, Miles Pearlstein and Ben Hall. The girls were Dumitrescu, Walden Jones, Anna Tischer, Emily Schulz, Lindsay Schroeder, Emily Ng and Colleen Griffin.

Goldston, who finished first for Grady, placed 27th overall at the meet with a time of 18:07.64. Davis, a junior, finished 57th with a time 18:45.31. Not far behind were senior Tischer and freshman Mansbach coming in 72nd and 75th, only two seconds apart with times of 18:57.56 and 18:59.10.

For the girls race, junior Jones led Grady, finishing 20th overall in   21:23.08. Sophomore Anna Tischer was Grady’s second finisher, placing 25th in the state in 21:34.06, just ahead of Dumitrescu who ran 21:39.91.

Despite a successful finish, Goldston said he wanted a stronger performance.

“Personally, I think I should’ve been able to do better than I did. That’s kind of the answer I’ll give after every race, though,” he said. “I’m physically capable of doing better, so I always expect that of myself and attempt to do it.”

Goldston thought the boys team performed well as a unit.

“I think we did well overall. We had a couple runners do a little better than expected, but the main point is that, regardless of the tough course and harsh conditions, everyone ran at least how they were expected to run,” said Goldston.

One runner who did “a little better than expected,” according to Cramer, was freshman Mansbach. He earned a varsity spot and finish in the top 80 out of 214 in the state meet his first year of high school.

“Bram did very well for the boys. He seemed to be pulled along by Erik, so we should give them both credit,” Cramer said of the freshman.