Michael Thurston of Marist hold off Pope's Patrick Fleming at Double Dip Image Courtesy of Pre1962
Week 4 Cross Country Report
This report is going to be incomplete due to some issues at Warpath. Otherwise, it was a great week of racing again. The Ortho at Carrollton wasn't as loaded in recent seasons due to risng popularity of a few other races like Warpath at Boling Park, Eagle Invitational, Greyhound Invitational and of course the Roy Benson Double Dip at Marist. The Ga.MileSplit MS Challenge provided some good racing as well. Once again the Carrollton State Course makes waves as it was lengthened (it seems) and was measured on the tangents (shortest possible route) compared to down the middle. It seems due to a NFHS rule change...
The Lead pack Digs in up the first hill at Carrollton in the Boys Championship race Image file photo
The biggest story out of Carrollton Saturday besides the course being too long now, was that Brookwood's boys are going to contend for another state title and Katherine Yost is the top female runner through the first 4 weeks of racing. Brookwood took a narrow win over highly ranked St.Pius by 3 points due to their tight pack from positions 8- 26. Matthew McClintock placed 8th leading the herd in 16:56 The Golden Lions made it a race led by Austin Sprague's overall individual win in 16:18 and Calvin Tirrell's 7th place effort in 16:55 Norcross was impressive again placing 3rd only 9 points behind Brookwood. The Blue Devils had 2 runners in the top 10 including Arman Rehman in 5th at 16:43 Sydney Speir and Brad Hort from McIntosh finished in unison with Speir just ahead at the line in 16:25 with Hort .41 behind him. Sukhi Khosla from Leon (Tallahassee) placed 2nd overall in 16:20
Katherine Yost of Norcross won in her typical dominant fashion vanishing from view of the chase pack clocking a 19:03 on the tougher (and maybe too long State course) in 19:03 Brookwood's Girls made it a sweet ride back to Snellville winning the Championship team race outdistancing the field by 70 points with a 20:33 team average which is sure to move them up the Rankings this week. The Lady Broncs placed 4 runners in the top 8 spots led by Payton Wilson's 3rd place finish in 20:06 followed by Quandra Shanks in 20:14 Leanne Zimmer of Lambert had another nice performance claiming 2nd overall in 20:03 McIntosh placed 2nd in the team standings with 107 points led by Melanie Hamilt's 5th place performance in 20:16 Marietta placed 3rd followed by Westminster who was missing Sahara Fletcher it seems.
Morgan Ilse of Marist cruises to a win at Benson Double Dip Image by Pre1962
Coach Benson Double Dip
This great meet had a nice battle for Boys team champs with Marist coming out on top over both Harrison and Flowery Branch. It certainly helped that the War Eagles took 3 of the top 4 spots led by overall champ Michael Thurston in 16:25 with Daniel Navarro and Jack Leahy taking 3rd and 4th at 16:41 Harrison really packed it in tight finishing in the 11-14 spots including Adam Wyatt, Dylan Elmy, Conner Ennis and Ben Gladstone. The Branch was paced by 3 top 10 finishers led by Nicholas Ashmeade in 6th place (16:55) Pope's Patrick Fleming had a strong race taking the runnerup spot clocking a 16:28 and Brian Cato of Eagles Landing turned in a nice race placing 5th in 16:52
Morgan Ilse of Marist's winning effort of 19:25 proved to be the difference maker as it separated her Marist teamates by 7 points over a very game Harrison squad. Kate Northrop turned in a 7th place finish to also contribute to the winning team effort. Harrison had 2 girls place in the top 9 sparked by Emily Duvaris in 20:45 and Elyse Bray in 20:47 Dunwoody rounded out the top 3 team placers led by Kailey Williams in 3rd at 20:33 and Alex Cameron back in 6th place at 20:40 Mackenzie Nail from Whitewater placed 2nd overall individually clocking a 20 flat.
6th Annual Eagle Invitational
Lassiter made a trip across the Metro area to East Jackson HS and the 6A school had too much horsepower for many of the smaller class schools in attendance as they swept both team titles. Their Boys squad squeaked out a 5 point win over 3A Hart County led by Alex Guillaume's runnerup effort in 16:43 Hart County continued to prove they are a top squad in 3A placing 2nd led by senior Ross Morris as he cruised in at 16:48 and took 4 spots in the top 20 finishers. Dacula ran to a 3rd in the team race behind a 8th place effort by Jackson Helfrich in 17:24 Gabriel Alvarez of Salem got out to healthy early lead and hung on for an individual crown in 16:32. Other top boys were John Gagnon of Habersham Central (17:07) Brandon Nguyen of West Hall (17:18) and Zach Stone from Morgan County in 6th (17:18)
It was just too much Lassiter on the Girls side as they claimed 3 spots in the top 9 with Morgan Ainslie running away for the win clocking an 18:52 for an individual win. Erin Verdeyen placed 4th and Elaina Gray 9th to lead the Lady Trojans to an easy team win. Jefferson had a good race taking 2nd in the team race with 92 points sparked by Reese Bowles' 5th place 21:24 Athens Christian took home some hardware placing 3rd. West Hall's Taylor Long placed 2nd in 20:19, Dacula frosh Sabrina Seibel placed 3rd in 20:30, and another frosh Allie Dominicali of Clarke Central placed 6th in 21:25 just nipping West Hall's Ryan Sharry.
Ga.MileSplit.com MS Challenge
This was the 1st XC meet that MileSplit Ga has sponsored and we hope to continue the tradition for many years to come including perhaps a large HS race in the future (possibly at Nash Farms). A huge thanks goes out to the North Oconee Cross Country program and its parents for providing many great volunteers and especially Coaches Ralph Moore and Brady Sigler who served as Meet Directors in my absence (not like they needed me, lol!) The Oconee Community XC course has now had a chance to mature and improve over the past 7 years and it did provide a challenge for the Middle Schoolers...
One thing is becoming very clear, North Oconee is going to be a force to be reckoned with in 3A Boys when Anthony Potts from Malcom Bridge enrolls Fall 2013...Potts has dominated every race he has competed in this Fall and the Ga.MileSplit MS Challenge was no different. On the 2.05 mile layout Potts layed down the law running away from a decent field clocking a 12:04 for the Individual title and leading the Lightning to a team title. Ian Elkins (13:15) and Weston Bell (13:21) also had top 10 finishes for Malcom Bridge. Clarke MS from Athens placed 2nd 20 points back thanks to Gabriel Mantione (11th) and William Craine (12th) George Walton brought 5 boys and they did well claiming the 3rd place Cup led by the effort of brothers Max (4th-12:59) and Raj Jani (6th-13:14) Zac Cantrell made the long trek to Bogart and ran to a runnerup finish in 12:34 follwed by Columbia MS' Anthony Brooks in 12:55 Darrell Woodall from Winder-Barrow MS placed 5th in 13:13 Quentin Nekvinda of Saint Joseph's was 1st in the JV boys race in 13:45
The competition for the Girls Team title in the Championship race was very tight with Cayla Cumming's Athens Christian girls coming out on top again (they have won every MS race they have competed in this Fall) scoring 58 points for a 12 point margin of victory over nearby Malcom Bridge. They did it by putting 4 girls in the 6-10 team positions led by Drew Bailey (14:52) and Mackenzie Rogers (14:56) Malcom Bridge's runnerup team effort was sparked by Anna Marie Garmen's 7th place overall in 14:50 Hebron Christian of Dacula battled hard for 3rd only 5 points out led by Mikayla Burell (4th overall in 14:24) and Miranda Taylor (6th overall in 14:27) It was a duel for the Individual title with Mackenzie Ellison coming out on top clocking a 13:11 over Hart MS runner Audrey Honiotes in 13:17. Caroline Ferguson had a nice run for Oconee MS finishing 5th in 14:27
Many teams from Central came to race at Jones County's cross country course after racing at the Warner Robins Invite 4 days earlier and the Veterans boys squad took the team championship scoring 53 points led Clay Woolfolk's runnerup individual effort. Heritage (Conyers) was a close 2nd with 65 points. Nick Wilcox from Warner Robins won the individual title clocking a 17:24. Anna Leigh Nix seems to have transferred from Veterans to Mary Persons this Fall and she won the overall Girls title handily in 20:41 Loganville made a long trip worthwhile as they placed 3 girls in the top 7 for the team title led by Jessie Fortner in 2nd place with a 21:15 Frosh Ellen Powell paced the Lady Royals of Bleckley to 2nd in the team standings with her 3rd place 21:28 finish.
Warner Robins Invitational
This is the biggest weekday meet of the season south of Metro ATL held at the fast Huntington MS course which lived up to its rep. Perry HS ran well enough to justify their postion in the Rankings winning the Boys title easily placing their top 5 guys all in the top 10 positions. JImmy Mehserle led the Panthers winning ways placing 2nd overall in 16:32 followed by teamate Jackson Reid in 5th and Tyler Claxton in 6th. Nick Wilcox keeps racking up individual wins down south running alone to victory clocking a 16:09 Veterans placed 2nd in the team standings with Warner Robins a distant 3rd. Caleb Teachout of Pike County was 3rd overall cracking sub 17: in 16:49.
2A Bleckley County came and conquered all the large schools scoring 77 points nipping Veterans with 80. Ellen Powell's 4th place effort was the difference maker as she turned in a 20:54. Josi Giovinazzo led the Lady Patriots with her 22:05 5th place effort. Megan Asadian from Houston outclassed the field for the overall win turning in a 19:12 performance and Perry's Abby Booth was 2nd in 19:42