By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published December 21, 2017
ATLANTA—Marist School’s boys’ and girls’ teams won the Class AAAA state cross country championship during the Nov. 4 meet in Carrollton.
For the Marist girls, it was their 10th consecutive state title. Kathleen Maley (second, 19:29.90), Josie Wirtz (fifth, 19:36.17), Kathleen Schellman (sixth, 20:10.39) and Kiki Popescu (eighth, 20:38.40) were the top four finishers for Marist in a field of 203 runners.
Knox Pittman (first, 16:32.26), William O’Reilly (second, 16:42.86), Nathan Haileysus (13th, 17:21.81) and David Reteneller (15th, 17:28.30) were the top four finishers for Marist boys in a field of 219 runners. For the boys it was their 12th championship since 1995.
Eric Hienz, the head cross country coach at Marist since 2006, said winning the state championship is one of the primary goals of each team.
“I want each team to reach their potential, which requires every individual to train to be their best, and if that happens we know that winning state is a possibility,” said Heintz. Regarding the girls’ team, he said a streak of 10 straight years is something they never imagined, but he said it is an indication of team’s commitment to the pursuit of excellence and putting the team above individual achievement.
“The boys’ season was filled with ups and downs,” said Heintz. “We had an immensely talented, hard-working bunch, but a few injuries and bad races let us know that we weren’t invincible. However, they were at their best when it mattered and brought home the victory.”
The St. Pius X High School boys’ team, the 2016 state champs, finished in second place this year. Jordan Perez (fifth, 16:51.20), Jack Voss (seventh, 16:54.97) and Rowan Wiley (14th, 17:25.49) held down the top three spots for St. Pius.
The St. Pius girls’ team finished in fourth place behind state runners-up, Oconee County and Blessed Trinity High School.