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Georgia's top high school boys track and field athletes: Meet the state’s best distance runners

Who are the top distance runners in Georgia high school boys track and field this season?

By Darren Nichols | Photo by Ben Ennis

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top track and field athletes in Georgia.

We started with the top sprinters in the boys division, then focused on girls sprinters, and now we're on to the best distance runners in the boys division.

There are hundreds of standout distance runners in Georgia, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Tag us on Twitter or Instagram at @SBLiveGA and let us know about other athletes worthy of fans’ attention.

Note: We'll also be posting lists of the state's top hurdlers, jumpers and throwers in the coming weeks. Many athletes excel in multiple events, but we won't do write-ups on the same athlete on multiple lists.

Tavian Anderson, Denmark

Anderson holds the fifth-fastest 800-meter time in the state at 1:56.75. There are realistic hopes that he can get to that second spot and break Denmark’s record.

Ethan Ashley, Denmark

Ashley has the second-fastest 3,200-meter time in the state this season at 9:17.04. He came in third in last year’s 7A state championships, and with his competition now gone he hopes to capture gold for the first time in his career.

Andrew Balogh, Etowah

Balogh has turned on the burners so far in his junior season. His recent PR of 1:57.44 in the 800 meters is good enough for ninth in the state and an Etowah record.

Trent Bell, West Forsyth

Bell has made great strides in his senior season. He has improved his 1,600-meter PR by five seconds and has the fastest time in the state at 4:18.76.

Ben Bergey, South Forsyth

Bergey has the third-fastest 3,200-meter time in the state this season at 9:24.34, which broke the South Forsyth record.

Edward Blaha, Pace Academy

Blaha went to state for 2A last season in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He wasn’t able to bring home any hardware, but his only competition were the seniors ahead of him. Now he looks to lay claim to gold in both events.

William Carlton, Decatur

Carlton has the second-fastest 1,600-meter time and first among all juniors in Georgia at 4:19.85.

Matthew Fernando, Westminster

Fernando held the second-fastest 800-meter time in the state in 2021 and was runner-up in the 5A state championships in the 800. That championship meet was unforgettable for Fernando, as he also took home gold in the 1,600.

Jared Fortenberry, Marietta

Fortenberry recently recorded his PR in the 800 meters to catapult himself into the top 10 times in the state this season with a 1:57.20.

Marcus Guidry, Alexander

Guidry put his name in the conversation with some of the top distance runners last season after taking home gold in the 800 meters in the 6A state championship as a sophomore. He's in good position to repeat as champ in his junior season.

Alec Jackson, Eagle's Landing

Jackson ran the third-fastest 800-meter time in the state last season at 1:52.77 and is looking for a top-three finish in the 5A state championships this season.

Chance Jones, Dacula

Jones holds the third-fastest 800-meter time as a junior at 1:56.04, and this is his first year running track.

Ethan Kurilko, Lakeside Evans

Kurilko won bronze in last year’s 6A state championship in the 800 meters as a junior. He is starting off his senior season on the right foot with the third-fastest 1,500-meter time of 4:08.11.

Memphis Rich, Richmond Hill

Rich is the only sophomore in the state who has a top 10 time in the 3,200 meters. He improved his PR to 9:27.82, which is almost 30 seconds faster than his PR last season.

Malachi Sanders, Marietta

Sanders and Jared Fortenberry are the dynamic junior duo in the 800 meters for Marietta. Sanders is right behind Fortenberry with the eighth-fastest time in the state.

Simon Schabort, Model

Schabort had a sophomore season filled with stellar performances. He took home gold in the 1,600 meters in the 2A state championships and silver in the 800. His sights are set on double golds this season. He holds the fastest 3,200-meter time in the state at 9:10.47 — nearly seven seconds faster than the No. 2 mark.

Matthew Schroeder, Jefferson

Schroeder got beat out in last year’s state championships by seniors, but now hopes to take their place in his senior season. He has already notched his PR in the 400, 800 and 1,600 meters this season.

Nathan Solomon, Shiloh

Solomon recently catapulted himself in the top 10 times for the 3,200m with a 9:25.97, and the senior is looking to continue to climb the rankings.

Will Sumner, Woodstock

The soon-to-be Georgia Bulldog is coming off a stellar 2021 season and 2022 indoor season. He holds high school national records for indoor track in the 500 and 600 meters. While he's among the best in the state in the 400 (and also excels in the 200), Sumner has the best time in the nation this season in the 800 (1:48.94), so he's within reach of Michael Granville's U.S. record of 1:46.45 (California, 1996).

Grant Thompson, Pace Academy

Thompson is looking to add some more hardware to his trophy case after placing third in the 800 meters in the 2A state championships.