The Starting Line
junior from Harrison High School and a Marist School sophomore were named
Runners of the Year at the Powerade All-Metro Cross Country Awards on November
17, held in the Stave Room in Midtown Atlanta.
McGarity turned in a dominant performance at the state meet in Carrollton earlier this month, where she won by 40 seconds and posted the fastest time of any girl across the state's nine classifications. McGarity, whose award was announced via video by 2021 NCAA Cross Country Champion Whittni Morgan, also won her regional title as well as the Cobb County Championship this season.
"My coach prepares us really well. We train a lot for hills," said McGarity of her back-to-back titles at the Carrollton state meet course.
McGarity's state meet race was also named the 2022 Performance of the Year. It was one of five performances posted on 11Alive.com and open to a public vote.
Also named to the girls' first team were Palmer Walstad (Westminster), Hannah Schemmel (St. Pius X), Ruby Little (Marist), Maddie Jones (Marietta), Carmel Yonas (South Forsyth) and Claire Shelton (Dunwoody).
Latham, the boys Runner of the Year, also capped off his season with a thrilling performance at the state meet, where he was the only underclassman in the top 5, winning by 24 seconds. Latham also won the regional title this year, and his second-place time of 14:56.81 at the Coach Wood Invitational last month was the second-fastest by any Georgia runner in 2022. His award was announced via video by 2021 NCAA Cross Country Champion Conner Mantz, the first American finisher at both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this year.
"The most important thing about Marist team culture is there is a group of 30 of us. It's not just seven or five, whatever it takes to get a team on the results," said Latham. "We all know what it means to have success and if any one of us has success it's a celebration."
The five other boys named to the first team were Alex Arrambide (East Forsyth), Taylor Wade (Whitefield), Diego Santiago (Chattahoochee Hills), Jared Fortenberry (Marietta) and Dru Moore (Etowah).
First teams are ranked as a traditional cross country team by performance, while the second and third teams are ranked alphabetically.
Photos: Paul McPherson