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Cross country



Cross Key's Leonel Ayala won the 2009 and 2010 Class AA state titles.

Cross Key’s Leonel Ayala won
the 2009 and 2010 Class AA state

DeKalb County Schools has made its mark on the cross country scene since the 1950s when state competition began with the boys. Since that time the county has brought home 20 state titles in boys and 5 in the girls’ competition.

The first team state title came in 1957 as the Druid Hills boys won the first of two consecutive titles (1957, 1958). Lakeside and the now defunct Gordon High lead the county with five state titles apiece. Lakeside won five titles in a seven-year span from 1969 to 1975, the only non-title years coming in 1971 and 1974.

Gordon won all five of its titles in consecutive years from 1981 to 1985. Clarkston (2014, 2015, 2016), Tucker (1965), Shamrock (1970), Lithonia (1972), Dunwoody (1974), Avondale (1977), Towers (1980) and Chamblee (1986) hold the other 10 boys titles.

Clarkston (2014) broke a 28 year drought since the last boys’ state title in 1986 by Chamblee and repeated the feat in 2015 and 2016 to win back-to-back-to-back state titles in the county for the first time since the five year run of Gordon. The 2016 title made Clarkston the third DCSD boys’ team to win three state titles.

The DeKalb boys’ teams have combined for a total of 126 top ten finishes (including the 21 titles). Lakeside leads the way with 33 top ten finishes followed by Druid Hills with 22 and Chamblee rounds out the teams in double figures with its 18 top ten finishes.

The county has 17 of its current 19 high schools with at least one top ten finish including Clarkston (5), Cross Keys (3, 2010), Shamrock (8), Gordon (6), Briarcliff (3), Sequoyah (2), Walker (2) and Henderson (1) combined for 23 of the top ten finishes before they were closed.

The county boasts 27 boys’ individual state champions beginning with Avondale’s Hugh Tankersley with the first individual state title in 1955. Gordon’s James Flack won titles in 1982 to 1984, during Gordon’s five-year reign as the team champ.

Walker’s Ricky Watson became the first two-time champion with state titles in 1971 to 1972. Avondale’s Chase Van Valkenburg (1976 to 1977), Chamblee’s John Boney (1990 to 1991), Lakeside’s Joe Thorne (2000 to 2001) and Leonel Ayala (2009-2010) of Cross Keys were also two-time state champs. Lakeside’s Davis Stockwell became the latest individual title holder with the Class 6A crown in 2014.

Boys’ State Titles (21)

  • Lakeside (5) 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975;
  • Gordon (5) 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985
  • Clarkston (3) 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Druid Hills (2) 1957, 1958
  • Avondale (1) 1977
  • Chamblee (1) 1986
  • Dunwoody (1) 1974
  • Lithonia (1) 1972
  • Shamrock (1) 1970
  • Towers (1) 1980
  • Tucker (1) 1965


Chamblee's Emily Reese completed her career in 2007 as a four-time state champion.

Chamblee’s Emily Reese completed her career in 2007 as a four-time state champion.

Peachtree High, no longer in existence, won the first girls team state title in 1979 and was followed by Chamblee in 1981 and Gordon in 1982 (giving Gordon a sweep of the two titles in 1982).

Dunwoody broke the girls’ 30 year streak without a state title by capturing the Class AAAAA state title in 2012, the school’s first girls’ state title in cross country. Dunwoody became the first girls’ team to win two state titles by capturing the 2014 crown and won their third in 2015 to repeat as state champions.

Lakeside also leads the county in top ten finishes on the girls’ side with a county high of 21 out of the 68 within the county. Druid Hills has ten top ten team finishes and Chamblee with its one state title has nine, along with Dunwoody.

Dunwoody’s Alex Cameron won the 2012 Class AAAAA individual title to run the girls’ individual title total to 17.

The girls’ first individual state title came in the inaugural season of the state competition in 1975 when Lakeside’s Kristi Hanna won the AAA title. Chamblee’s Emily Reese is the most notable girls’ champion with four state titles to her credit including the 2004 and 2005 Class AAAA titles and the 2006 and 2007 Class AAA titles.

Meghan Wetterhall of Lakeside was the last girl to claim a state title with her 2008 Class AAAA crown until Cameron claimed the Class AAAAA state championship in 2012.

DeKalb has three other two-time state title winners including Stacie Reich of Chamblee (1980 to 1981), Loreen White of Gordon (1982 to 1983) and Chamblee’s Allison Danford (1990 to 1991).

Girls’ State Titles (6)

  • Dunwoody (3) 2012, 2014, 2015
  • Peachtree (1) 1979
  • Chamblee (1) 1981
  • Gordon (1) 1982


State Results