Home Carrollton State cross country meet has positive economic impact

State cross country meet has positive economic impact

For years, Carrollton High School has been the consummate host of the Georgia High School Association state cross country meet, but this year can also showcase bragging rights as the home of the state runner-up with the boys team running on the heels of the ultimate state champion – Marietta High School.

This was the first year CHS has competed in the top GHSA classification of AAAAAAA in the state meet, held on the Carrollton City Schools district campus Nov. 4-5. The girls also posted an impressive showing, landing at 15th for the team overall.

The school has been hosting the event for nearly three decades — bringing runners and spectators from all over the state to Carrollton.

The GHSA state cross country championship meet welcomes more than 3,000 runners and 10,000 spectators annually — boosting the local economy to the tune of $1.5 million conservatively, according to a calculator set forth by the Carrollton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. This number accounts for overnight hotel accommodations and patronizing local restaurants and businesses.

Craig Musselwhite, former head track coach for the Trojans, has been helping with the two-day event since he began coaching track in 1997. He still helps with the meet even though he has retired.

“Coach David Harris and Coach Ben Scott helped bring the meet to CHS in 1994 and I started helping with the event when I came to Carrollton,” he said. “The meet has grown a lot since those early years and it’s great we are able to host it every year.”

When CHS began hosting the state meet, there were only four classifications competing. Now there are seven.

“If I had to guess, I’d say the meet has doubled in size since the early-mid 1990s,” said Musselwhite.

CHS Athletic Director Paul Fitz-Simons said he is grateful for the community’s support of the state championship meet each year.

“We are fortunate to have amazing community support and facilities so we can host events like this on our campus,” he said.