Staff Photo: John Bohn Wesleyan cross country runner Caroline Reed, center, runs at the head of the start of the class A girls race in the Georgia state championship cross country meet held Saturday in Carrollton. Caroline finished in third place individually.
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CARROLLTON -- Wesleyan's rich tradition of athletics has produced some pretty impressive dynasties in basketball, baseball and football.
The Wolves' boys cross country team can join them.
Wesleyan won the Class A state championship Saturday, its third in a row and eighth in the program's history.
"It's one of the most successful teams I've ever been a part of," Wesleyan senior Bradley Gossett said. "It seems normal to win a state championship at Wesleyan."
The Wolves finished with 67 points to beat First Presbyterian (81) and Galloway (122). Providence Christian took 10th with 291 points.
"We felt like it would be close," Wesleyan coach Chad McDaniel said. "Class A is as tough as its ever been."
Wesleyan relied on a strong senior-laden team. The team had six seniors and was led by Gossett, who took fifth place with a time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds. Teammate Drew Sutton was just behind him in sixth place with a time of 16:41.
"Drew had an unbelievable day," McDaniel said. "He struggled early in the year, but he came on when it mattered the most."
Doug Mohme was 17th (17:17), Takim Williams took 20th (17:20), Timothy Marsh was 22nd (17:25), Austin Schanen was 28th (17:40) and Austin Gritters was 43rd (18:11).
"It's a privilege to compete when something is on the line," McDaniel said. "They ran their best."
Providence's top runners were Jonathan Duffie in 25th place (17:36) and James Watkins in 27th (17:39).
Wesleyan's girls took fourth at last year's state meet and were five points from winning a state title Saturday.
The Wolves scored 85 points to finish runner-up behind Landmark Christian's 80 points. Providence was sixth with 148 points and Hebron finished 15th.
"Our girls ran their best race of the season and that's all you can ask," McDaniel said. "You have to tip your hat to the other team."
Wesleyan was led by Caroline Reed's third-place finish with a time of 19:30.
"It was completely unexpected," said the sophomore. "I ran my heart out and that's what happened."
It was quite a turnaround for Reed, who placed 20th last year.
"She had her best day," McDaniel said.
Taylor Panther took eighth with a time of 20:12, Jordan Zimmerman was 13th (20:23), Diane Torres was 32nd (21:27), Madison Jones finished 34th (21:29), Hannah Duane was 39th (21:40) and Mallory McGill took 42nd (21:46).
"I'm proud of the girls," McDaniel said. "They overcame a lot of adversity this year. It's a tough group of girls."
Tayler Tuttle led Providence's sixth-place finish by taking sixth overall with a time of 20:01.
Ellie Thomas was 18th and Evangeline Crist was 30th.
Hebron's top runner was Stephanie Murphy with a 12th-place finish in 20:22.