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Cross country: Horizon Christian qualifies boys, girls teams for state meet
Horizon Christian's boys and girls cross country teams qualified for the GAPPS state championship meet Oct. 23 in Macon. Photo submitted

Horizon Christian Academy's varsity boys and girls cross teams qualified for the GAPPS cross country state championship, which is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Macon. 

"We are beyond excited as this has been a team goal since we started training this summer,” Horizon junior Liam Random said. 

Both teams have had an impressive season, with second-place finishes in three large invitationals that included both public and private schools.

The team is led by second year head coach Fred Weir and first year assistants Josh Beals and Hope Chaney. 

The coaches bring a wealth of knowledge and experience; Weir himself runs for the Atlanta Track Club Elite Team. 

In addition to competing in large invitationals both teams ran in an open colligate meet fairing well against older college runners. 

“The team jumped at the opportunity to run up against better runners and gain experience. It really built their confidence competing against collegiate runners," Weir said.

"Everyone has really worked together this season and challenged each other," sophomore Evan Holcombe said. "We have all lived by the motto iron sharpen iron.” 

“Everyone has really encouraged each other to find joy and stay in the moment; that has been our secret to success,” junior Olivia Ingram said.

The varsity boys team consists of Liam Random, Evan Holcombe, Cross Weir, Will Maher, Grayson Peavy, Tyler Long, Everet Rodes and Henry Palmer. 

The varsity girls team consists of Della Grace Lewis, Faith Harmon, Olivia Ingram, Haley Godbee and Caitlyn Portelli. Eighth-grader Aubrey Hester will also run with the varsity girls for the state meet.

The HCA cross country program involves students from kindergarten to 12th grade. The team has grown this year to more than 50 runners, with all grades having participated in invitationals this season. The school has also hosted three open invitationals at the school on their 36-acre campus and had more than 2,500 runners participate in the meets this season.