Tatiana Smith finishes 8th, GCA competes at GIAA 2A state championship

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

Freshman Grace Christian Academy cross country runner Tatiana Smith finished 8th at the GIAA 2A State Championship Invitational. Smith ran a time of  22:36.03.

“I was proud of her that she went in there and gave it her all,” said Heather Smith, Smith’s mother and head coach of the Cougar cross country team. “Being in the top 10 and representing small town USA down in southwest Georgia is a big accomplishment.”

Junior Kate Poitevint also represented the Lady Cougars at the state meet. Poitevint is a two-sport athlete and prioritizes Volleyball during the fall season. She finished 54th with a time of  28:25.67. Coach Smith said just having Poitevint at the meet helped the team run better.

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“She’s a natural leader,” Smith said. “She doesn’t have to run cross country, but she does it because she’s a team player,… To have that leadership there is crucial for those younger runners.”

The Cougar men’s finished 11th overall. Smith said the hilly, Macon course was tough and that it served as a good learning experience for her young runners.

“It was definitely an eye-opener for them,” Smith said. “I think now, they understand why we do what we do to train to, kind of, get ready for these types of courses.

Sophomore Walker Elrod led the team with a first-place finish overall and a time of 15:42.71. 

Junior Owen Earnest finished 76th with a time of 23:35.32 

Junior Cade Wells finished 81st with a time of 24:45.53 

Junior Spencer Blanton and sophomore Abram Anderson finished back to back in places 89 and 90 with times of 26:29.67 and 26:31.17

Freshmen Jacob Moore and Maddox Reynolds finished in 93rd and 95th with times of 26:58.46 and 28:09.27.