Chattahoochee's Diago Santiago Backs Up Region Title With State Title
The Georgia High School Association cross country season came to an end on Saturday as the 2A through 6A championships were held on the second day of the two day event. The day was highlighted by the Pace Academy Knights girls, the Wesleyan Wolves girls and Marist War Eagles girls all winning their third consecutive state titles. On the boys side, the Westminster Wildcats won their sixth consecutive title, while the Decatur Bulldogs brought home their second straight championship.
Individual wins on the day included St. Pius X runner, Hannah Schenmel, who would claim the girls 6A title with a finish of 19:12.92. During the race, Schenmel found herself about 40 meters back of leader at the time, Ruby Little of Marist, in the fourth position about a mile and half into the run. However, after making her move heading into the second loop of the course, Schenmel along with Dunwoody’s Claire Shelton, would jump to the front of the race and the two would push each other to a photo finish as Schenmel edged out Shelton, who finished in 19:13.50.
“I just wanted it so badly, it’s been a long journey to get here,” Schenmel said after her finish, as she spoke about the gratefulness she had for those who have supported her. “They’re just truly amazing,” Schenmel said. Another spotlighted individual win came in the boys 5A race as Chattahoochee’s Diag0 Santiago followed up his region championship from a little over a week ago, by taking the title in a time of 16:49.20. “I’m super proud of it,” Santiago said of capping his season with a state title win. Santiago added that the mild weather day did have some impact on his run, however not enough to alter his race strategy.
“The heat was pretty killer even though I thought it wouldn’t be that bad with the clouds, but I still worked my hardest. My plan went through which was to go hard the first mile, take out everyone,” Santiago said and it was a strategy that played well as he had a 20 meter lead by the mile and a half mark of the race and that lead would only increase as he picked up the win.