Host Milton wins 11th Best Overall Program Title as Bowers sets Course Record

By Andy Carr


Milton High School hosted the Fulton County Cross Country Championships for the 6th straight year and came away with their 11th Best Overall Program Award winning 5 out of 6 team races as defending state champion Sam Bowers repeated as county champion besting his own course record by 20 seconds.


Nicholas Yanek and Sam Bowers are a potent 1-2 punch

Varsity Boys

The host Milton (1st-15 pts) Eagles showed their dominance as the 18th-ranked team in the US put all seven of it's runners in the top-8 positions scoring their first-ever perfect score and 5th ever by any Eagle team.  The team average for Milton (16:59) for it's 5 scorers is faster than any individual winning time ever run on the course (2007-2016) until this year's race. Cross-town rival Cambridge (2nd-59 pts) & Northview (3rd-96 pts) trailed.  

Sam Bowers broke the Milton Course record, again..

Defending his individual title, senior Sam Bowers (1st-16:19) broke his own course record by 20-seconds by taking the lead just past the 3-mile mark to take the win. Senior teammate Nicholas Yanek (2nd-16:23) also broke the old course record by 16-seconds and improved his time on the course by 23-seconds!  Yanek led up until the 3-mile mark running a torrid pace (4:45 at the mile, 10:10 at 2-miles) on what many consider one of the toughest in the state.  In their wake, the Eagles put 5 runners in the next 6 places. Seniors Michael Malkowski (3rd-17:20), Ryan Beitzell (4th-17:26) & Dru Milton (5th-17:27) along with junior Luke Bonneville (7th-17:39) & freshman Hayden Marshall (8th-17:41) all ran course best except Malkowski.  Cambridge junior Jack Filan (6th-17:36) ran to a 51-second course best to break up the Milton juggernaut.

Milton Boys Fulton County Champs

Abby Rindt, Overall Girls Champ

Varsity Girls

The Lady Eagles of Milton (1st-26 pts) placed 6 finishers in the top-10 overall places to easily capture their 2nd-straight team title.  Cambridge (2nd-73 pts) & Blessed Trinity (3rd-79 pts) followed in a tight battle for runner-up honors.  In a close and stirring race, sophomore Abby Rindt (1st-21:13) captured her first county title while only missing her course best by 7-seconds. Rindt fronted a pack of runners through 2-miles that included senior Allison Rothrock (2nd-21:17) of Johns Creek, junior teammate Taylor Cushman (3rd-21:18), Cambridge sophomore Ashley Sechrest (4th-21:26) & Northview senior Sarika Temme-Bapat (5th-21:34) before separating from them over the next mile.  

The battle for the runner-spot came down to a furious finishing straight-away kick as Rothrock just edged Cushman right before the finish line.  The Lady Eagles secured the win with a tight group of finishers that saw only a 58-second spread among its scorers.  Milton had junior Faith Wagner (6th-21:41) run a personal course best & 10th best by a Milton runner while running with only one shoe! Senior Annie Gallagher (7th-21:57) & senior captains Emily Bowers (9th-22:11) and Jessie Barnes (10th-22:14) along with senior Adriana Christensen (17th-22:36) all scored for the Lady Eagle victory.

Best Overall Program

Unique to the meet, the awarding of the Best Overall Program among Fulton County Schools is determined by school team finishes over the entire meet of 6 races (Open, JV and Varsity both boys and girls). Milton captured their 11 title in the last 14 years by winning both varsity, both JV and the girls open races. Blessed trinity was 2nd and Cambridge 3rd in the overall team scoring.

Andy Carr
Atlanta Track Club