The Apalachee girls’ cross country team punched its ticket last week to the GHSA Class 5A state championship meet, while Austin Sigman became the school’s first male runner since 2015 to qualify.

The Lady Wildcats finished fourth out of seven schools (95 points) Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the Region 8-AAAAA meet at Unicoi State Park in Helen to clinch a spot in the state meet. They were led by junior Averie Akin, who finished third overall (21:14), 12 seconds behind Clarke Central’s Lena Cook (21:02) in the runner-up spot. Hailey Tedder of Apalachee was 17th overall (23:08), while Katie Harper finished 19th (23:31).

Loganville took home the team title with 40 points on the strength of four top-10 finishers, while second-place Greenbrier (48) had the individual winner in Millie Quick (19:45). Jackson County finished third in the team standings (68 points).

Akin, Tedder and Harper will be joined by Abigail Zapata, Samantha Hauff, Cecilia Jaime and Anna Carter at the state meet at Carrollton High School, set to begin at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.

Meanwhile, Apalachee’s boys’ team finished fifth out of eight teams to miss out on qualifying as a team, but Sigman’s sixth-place finish overall (18:14) was enough to qualify him for a spot in the 5A boys’ state meet, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at Carrollton. The senior Sigman’s younger brother, junior Luke Sigman, finished 11th in the region meet (18:35).

Clarke Central won the boys’ team title and had the top two individual finishers — Beck Wolf-Hardy (17:03) and Max Carlson (17:26) — while Loganville, Greenbrier and Johnson-Gainesville also qualified as teams.

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