Week 6 was another superb week of racing featuring ultra meets including Great American, Aubrae Gunderson, Darlington XC Festival, We will be adding wraps progressively thru the next 2 days. Georgia showed its mettle at Great American http://nc.milesplit.com/meets/119572-great-american-cross-country-festival (Complete Coverage) Aubrae Gunderson hosted its largest field in history including collegiate races and ran like a top. Darlington was a fun, festive and competitive event featuring 11 races and the Quail Trail Invite in Thomasville hosted the best of South Ga with some Fla teams crossing the line to compete.
The 1A-2A Girls began the scholastic competition with the host school dominating the race as Darlington had 5 girls in the top 13 led by Individual Champ Kinslee Clevenger winning impressively in 20:01 backed by teamates Lauren Hooper in 3rd place (20:44) and Anna Cantrell (21:40) Mount Pisgah put 3 runners in the top 8 including runnerup Katie Strawinski in 20:35 to place 2nd in the team race in a 6th runner tiebreaker over Holy Innocents. Claire Kelsey led the Lady Golden Bears with her 9th place effort of 21:56. Also in the top 5 individuals was frosh Breck Jones of North Cobb Christian in 4th at 20:46 and Mattie Millikan of Mount Pisgah in 20:56. Darlington swept the 1A-2A division as next their Boys squad scored 47 points putting 4 athletes in the top 10 including 7th place overall finisher Spencer Fields in 17:22, and his teamates packed it from 8-10 with a Split of 2.70 consisting of Andrew Hudson, Alex Cox and Avery Cypress. John Raville of Our Lady of Mercy easily won the overall race crossing the line in 16:24 besting Model ace Christopher Akins about 120 meters back in 16:41. Raville trailed Akins at 2 miles by 20 meters...Holy Innocents took home more hardware placing 2nd in the team standings led by the duo of Warner Ray placing 3rd in 16:47 and Ross Waters just cracking sub 17 clocking a 16:59 Mount Pisgah placed 3rd behind Akins and 5th placer Shane Sullivan's 17:04
Etowah made it an Indians sweep in the 3A-6A division beginning with a very tight race in the Girls Large School division with Etowah coming out on top by 4 points having 3 runners in the top 12 led by a frosh duo of Shelby Rensel placing 4th in 20:14 and Kyla Resnick in 7th at 20:30. 3A Blessed Trinity had a strong 2nd place run sans Anna Gandolfo(dnr) and were paced by Overall Champ senior Natalie Kile's 19:25 and in 6th Bailey Willett in 20:29. Rome had a duo finish 2nd and 3rd including Frannie Wilson in 19:56 and Jenna Tilton in 20:12 Marietta took 3rd place by a mere 2 points over Kennesw Mountain led by the 8th place effort of Rebecca Dow in 20:31 Kennesaw Mountain was sparked by the 5th place overall finish of Anna Hankal.
The Etowah Boys just punished the field with impressive team racing packing 5 runners in the 6-14 spots with a :15 1-5 Split! Leading the raid was Brian Matthews in 16:58, Justin Brown (17:03) and Ross Gudger (17:05) Team runnerup Kennesaw Mountain scored 97 points led by top 10 finishers Overall Champ Alex Dunlap's 16:26 and Turner Ozmer's 5th place 16:54 Drew Bellows of Pickens County was 4th overall in 16:39 and 6A Centennial took 3rd place in the team race.
Westminster's MS Girls displayed how the Lady Wildcats will continue to dominate 2A Cross Country for many years winning the team title with 50 points led by Abby Seitz's overall runnerup finish of 12:27. The Individual winner came from Etowah's junior program with Macki Walsh racing to the win in 12:19. On the Boys a side conglomerate club squad The Junior Hoyas took the team tile with 53 points besting Holy Innocents by 8 points. Ben Davies led the Golden Bears with his overall win in 11:02 followed by unattached runner Darr Smith in 11:25.
In its largest field ever the the gun popped every 20 minutes a slightly different course which now is much faster than the very tough older course. Fast first mile (very flat around the big field), a bit slower 2nd and pretty tough 3rd including the infamous hill in the back.
Flowery Branch's Boys took the team title and best overall performance teamwise in the 'White Race' besting 5A rival McIntosh by 16 points. 5 runners in the top 21 was the key to victory led by Nicholas Ashmead's 8th place overall effort in 16:24. McIntosh was once again spearheaded by its fleet duo of Brad Hort and Sidney Speir with Hort blazing his way around the new layout with the top performance of the day in 15:35 and Speir turned in a runnerup effort of 15:58 Alex Grady from Newton was impressive in 16:03 followed by Lakeside-Evans' Chase Fowers in 4th at 16:08. The most competitive Girls race also came from the 'White' race and turned out to be a barnburner with Westminster coming out full strength mid-season taking the title by 5 points over Lakeside-Evans with Lakeside-DeKalb lurking another 7 points back. Surprisingly for the Lady Cats was that Kay Crawford led their hunt with a 7th place finish of 20:14. Sarah Bowles was the top Individual of the event with a winning time of 18:56. Lakeside-DeKalb was sparked by Jennifer Cora's 2nd place finish in 19:22.
How good are the Athens Academy Boys going to get this year after upending perennial 2A State Champs Westminster in the Boys 'Blue' race? Pretty dang good as Coach Tom Pee has them working their mojo all season long and a 9 point win over the Cat's is not to be overlooked...Henry Dwyer did his thing again with another strong race leading the Spartans placing 2nd overall in 16:44 with teamate Kurt Crymes follwing in 5th at 16:57 Reilly Friedman of Galloway got a bit of payback on Dwyer from a previous race and won the Overall clocking a 16:24...Alexander's Girls were dominant in Girls 'Blue' race placing 5 runners in the top 7 led by Brittany Truitt in 2nd place. Ashton Lord of Chapel Hill took the individual win in 20:01. Caroline Henry of Galloway placed 3rd.
In the 'Red' races Winder-Barrow's Boys cruised to victory with 43 points placing 3 in the top 10 led by William Wright and Alex Martinez placing 4th and 5th :02 apart. (17:24/17:26) Rockdale County continued to show improvement placing 2nd in the team race behind Patrick Masse's runnerup effort of 17:02. jaques Williams of Southwest DeKalb won the overall race just nicking Masse in 17:01 On the Girls side of things Winder-Barrow made it a Bulldog sweep of the Red races taking a narrow victory over Brookwood's JV squad placing 3 ladies in the top 8 led by Individual winner Caitlin Connell in 19:52 Senior Claire Cashin led the Lady Broncos with a 5th place time of 20:13 A trio of freshmen followed Connell less than :04 apart including Lenora Luce of Mountain View placed 2nd in 20:06, Sabrina Seibel of Dacula and, Alyssa LeClaire of McIntosh.
In the MS Boys race, Club team the Patriot Roadrunners were victorious led by Jallah Galimah's win in 11:41 and the Girls team title belonged to Paideia taking a hard fought win by 4 points over Clarke MS and Mackenzie Ellison from Five Forks MS added another individual title to her resume in 12:55
Georgia athletes made the trek to Cary, NC this past weekend and earned some respect nationally with their individual and team performances. For a Complete MileSplit.com Great American Report go here: http://nc.milesplit.com/meets/119572-great-american-cross-country-festival
Foot Locker All-American Josh Brickell of Peachtree Ridge had an outstanding performance race in the muddy condtions turning in a smokin' 14:57.50 making him ome of the favorites to watch at Foot Locker South. Austin Sprague of St. Pius X had a smooth 15:20 placing 10th in the ROC leading the Golden Lions Boys to an 9th place team effort making a bid they are the top Boys team in the State...Michael Thurston of Marist had his best race ever at Wake-Med placing 14th in 15:25 pacing Marist. Mill Creek placed 12th overall in the ROC led by Eric Westog's 38th place finish in 15:45. Another top Ga finisher was Marietta's Ben Pleak in 35th place at 15:43 leading a 17th place team effort.
Peyton Thomas of Roswell had her best race of the season in the Girls ROC with an 16th place finish of 18:08. Marist's Morgan Ilse placed 31st in the loaded field clocking a 18:30 with Walton's Alexa Womack in contact back in 36th at 18:46. Walton only had 5 Girls cross the finish line to be the top ga squad teamwise placing 15th with a team avg. of 19:30 with Marist behind them in 16th.
The Quail Trail Invitational hosted by Thomasville HS ath the historic Pebble Hill Plantation has slowly become the 2nd largest Cross Country Invitational in South Georgia only behind the 31st Annual Westover Invitational. The 5k course is a challenging yet scenic run over a variety of surfaces (grass, gravel, dirt road) withmultiple changes in elevation as many here in the Metro area are not aware that this section of southwest Ga, including the northernmost area of Florida above Tallahassee is actually hilly...as I well know having lived in this area for years...For Complete coverage please link to here:
Maclay School 25 miles south made the trek and won the HS Boys race scoring 35 points besting Lowndes from Valdosta at 47. Maclay placed 4 runners in the top 9 including Individual Champ Travis Covert at 17:09 Lowndes placed 3 in the top 10 including frontrunners Jadon Long and Chance Roe placing 6th and 7th respectively at 18:26 Bainbridge took 3rd in the team race led by the runnerup effort of soph Chase Harris in 17:22 Bryton Wenzel of 1A Private Baconton Charter just south of Albany placed 4th in 17:40 Dale Pate of Worth County had a nice race turning in a 18:20 for 5th place.
The Lowndes Girls proved they are the real deal at the UGA Invite currently ranked 8th All-Class and the Lady Vikes made easy work of it at Pebble Hill without top runner Megan Charbenaeu taking 4 of the top 8 spots scoring 36 points for the team title. Individual Champ Alison Peters (20:25) and runnerup Jacki Pinkerton (20:34) ran in tandem much of the race enroute to the win. The Lady Bulldogs of T'Ville now must be considered as Podium contenders in 2A after this meet placing 2nd. Junior Rachel Smith led the way finishing 4th overall in 21:46. Tift County took 3rd in the Girls team honors.
In an impressively large Middle School turnout (330 runners) for South Georgia, Holy Comforter won the MS Girls team title led by Molly McCann's 2nd place finish in 12:16 On the Boys side Valdosta MS scored a win defeating Lee County MS. The Cats hunt was led by Mariano Arceo as he clocked an 11:02 for 2nd overall.