The Nike/Fleet Feet Coach Wood Invitational enters its 15th edition as competitive as ever, with many ranked teams from all classifications descending on North Georgia's Gainesville campus for a day of fast racing and an electric atmosphere!
With 62 teams and over 3,700 runners this year, the Coach Wood Invitational looks to be super competitive as always.
Coach Rick Wood, Amanda Rego (Winslow), and Bobby Reyes were inducted into the Gwinnett County Cross Country Hall of Fame last Thursday at the Gwinnett XC All County Banquet
The 13th annual Nike/Fleet Feet Coach Wood Invitational looks to be as competitive as ever. With 62 schools and over 3,000 runners participating, it should be quite a scene in Gainesville on Saturday
Over 50 schools will descend on Mill Creek Community Stadium on Saturday for the Jerry Arnold Georgia Challenge. The 11th edition proves to be another highly competitive event, with teams from various classifications duking it out before County Championships start in a couple of weeks.
The 2014 edition of the meet looks to be the same ultra-competitive meet it has been the last few years. Dubbed by many as the unofficial All Class State Meet, this year’s meet once again includes the top teams across all classifications, giving teams a chance to see where they stand with 3 weeks left until State.
Coach Tim Hamling from Woodward Academy is in the 'Spotlight' this week. He coached the Woodward Girls team to the AAA State Track title last Spring in Albany winning a nailbighter over region rival St.Pius X.
Coach Tigue ran two years under Coach Karl Bostick and was a member of the Parkview state championship team in 1993. He ran both cross country and track at Berry College where he received his B.S. in Biology in 1998. Coach Tigue began his teaching career in 1999 at Smitha Middle School in Marietta, GA. He received his Masters in Educational Leadership in 2005 from Kennesaw Sate University and finally made his way back to Parkview the following school year to teach science and coach cross country and track. Coach Tigue and his wife, Brittany (Parkview class of 1993), have two daughters and one son: Ashley, Courtney, and Joshua. He will be heading to Lambert HS this Summer taking over the XC program.
Kelly Williams has been involved with Chapel Hill HS in 1999 being asked to head up a new program. She has coached 14 Individual State Champions and won 5 State titles in Cross Country and Track & Field combined. Most don't know she is also a respiratory therapist (27 years) as well helping patients at Piedmont Hospital in Newnan. Kelly was born in Allentown, PA and moved to Atlanta in 1996 and graduated from Douglas County HS. She has Bachelors degree in Education from University Of West Georgia in 1991 and a degree from California College in Health and Science in San Diego with emphasis in Respiratory Therapy and a minor in Science. Kelly has also been named the Bellsouth/Atlanta Braves Teacher of the Year, USA Today Coach of The Year, Atlanta Track Club Coach of the Year and Walmart Douglas Teacher of the Year.
Jack Coleman Marietta High School: 14 years Head XC Coach/ 2001 State Championship Assistant Coach: Distance East Paulding High School 4 Years Head XC Coach/ 4 Years Track: 2Assistant Coach & 2 Head Girls Coach Bachelor’s Degree: Kennesaw State University Master’s Degree: Georgia State University Education Specialist’s Degree: Jacksonville State University
Coach Chad Christman is entering his 13th year as a track coach with the Marietta Program and his 6th year as the Head Girls Varsity Track Coach. He began his coaching career at Marietta in 2000 as the assistant coach for the Marietta Middle School track team. Two years later in 2002 he was promoted to high school assistant boys varsity coach, a position he held till 2008. In 2009, Coach Christman became the Head Varsity Girls Track Coach, a position he still holds today. Coach Christman trains the boys and girls distance runners. He has been a part of two state champion teams 2006 and 2008, two state runner-up teams in 2005 and 2007, and 15 region titles. Coach Christman is a social studies teacher at Marietta Middle School. In 2012 was awarded Certified Employee of the Year and in 2013 was chosen as a Georgia Masters Teacher by the State of Georgia. Coach Christman earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and his Masters in Social Studies Education from Florida State University. He also spent one year at Slippery Rock University where he ran cross-country on a nationally ranked team. Coach Christman grew up in Bellevue, Ohio, where he graduated from Bellevue High School and ran cross-country and track. Running varsity cross-country for four years he help his team to a 3rd and 2nd place team finish at the State of Ohio Cross-Country Championships.
Coach Brad Wilson of LaGrange graduated from Auburn University and teaches Economics and U.S. History. He is finishing up his 4th year of coaching but has already built up quite the resume. In 2012 his boys XC team finished 4th, then in 2013 they finished 2nd; this spring his girls finished 5th at State. He also has coached Andrew Coggins, who was the AAAA State 800m Champ last year and the AAAA 1600m State Champ this spring. Coach Wilson lives in Peachtree City with his wife Molly.
The 11th Annual Coach Wood Invitational is shaping up to be yet another highly competitive meet. Some dub it the All Class State Meet every year, and this year’s meet certainly appears to be that again. With Nike Elite runner Andrew Wheating (2 time Olympian and 2 time NCAA Outdoor 800m Champion) present, this year’s meet looks to provide quite an atmosphere at the last major invitational of the season for most teams participating.
Longtime McIntosh HS Coach Chuck Buckle is retiring after 35 years of being an educator, mentor and Coach of countless young student-athletes in Peachtree City. Coach Buckle achieved the rare accolade of achieving 2 State team titles in Boys Cross Country and Track in his final year of service. Coach Andy Christie interviewed him recently to honor his successful career. Christie fondly remembers his 96' Cross Country team that was so dominate (Andy ran for South Gwinnett from 92-95) Coach Buckle will certainly be missed in the coaching ranks and looks forward to having weekends back and traveling to new and interesting places other than by school bus, lol!
This year is the 10th edition of the meet, and could be the most competitive one yet. With Nike athlete Shannon Rowbury set to appear, the always popular Fleet Feet/Nike tent, and the Cross Country friendly atmosphere of Gainesville College, the “unofficial All Class State Meet” (as one messageboard poster dubbed it) should be packed with plenty of intrigue. by Coach Andy Christie
Here is a breakdown of the Nike-Fleet Feet Coach Wood Invitational hosted by Mill Creek HS. Coaches Andy Christie and Ronnie Brown of Chapel Hill collaborated on this nice pre-meet article! Some of the Best teams in Georgia will battle it out at Gainesville College on Saturday. Will anyone challenge Brookwood's boys.....
Coach Travis Gower of the AAAAA Girls Champion Walton Lady Raiders talks Walton XC with gatfxc.com contributor Coach Andy Christie from Mill Creek and describes how Walton ran to victory on the Girls side and his Boys squad also.
Coach Ben Dehnke has been Outstanding at Brookwood in his short tenure heading up the Broncos distance corps to dominant performances in the XC and Track State meets. Interview by Mill Creek Coach, Andy Christie.
It should be "gnarly" as Spicoli said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High as the Reebok Coach Wood Meet will feature some very fast teams and individuals. Here are just a few:
Coach Andy Christie Interviews Jorge Torres who will be in attendance at the Reebok Coach Wood Invite. GATFXC: So are you excited to be a part of this yearsReebok Coach Wood Invitational? Have you done anything like thisbefore? Torres: It is a huge honor to take part in this years Reebok CoachWood Invitational. I have unofficially taken part in the Midwest FootLocker Meet a couple of years ago.GATFXC: What are your favorite memories from highschool cross country? Torres: My favorite memory in high school cross country was winning astate team title with all my high school teamates.GATFXC: What is the difference between a big highschool invitational vs. a big NCAA invitational? Torres: The biggest difference is the level and caliber of athletes is stronger in a college invitational. It's almost as if every invite in college is like competingin the Footlocker High School National Championships.GATFXC: What was your high school team like? Torres: My high school teamates and I were very close. They are still some of myclosest friends to this day. We grew up training together even before high school. That is why sharing the state title experience with my teammates is one ofmy finest memories.GATFXC: What was your favorite invitational in highschool and why?Torres: My favorite high school invite had to be theLake Park Invite in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. It was an early in theseason invite and the competition was always tough. The main reason I enjoyed itwas because it made me feel like the cross country season had finally began.GATFXC: What are you most excited about for thisweekend's race? Torres: I am most excited about interacting with today's high school youth. Getting back in touch with what is fun about running and that is seeing the work, struggles, and innocence of true cross country running.
Nice preview of the Reebok Coach Wood Invite by Coach Andy Christie of Dacula. Is that one sweet T-Shirt or what? Webmaster wants one baaaaaaaaad!
Meet Summary of the Gwinnett County Championships
Coach Andy Christie interviews Jorge Torres.
Coach Andy Christie of Dacula HS interviews Ralph King, the #1 All-Time Ga 2 miler formerly of St. Pius HS in Atlanta. There is a small photo gallery of Ben Hubers and Ralph King at the Ga Olympics during the "Best performance in an Event" ceremony before Saturday's finals.
Coach Andy Christie interviews Coach Roy Benson. Be on the lookout for info for Coach Benson's XC Camp this coming summer.
Coach Christie of Dacula HS interviews Coach Travis Gower.
Part 1 of a series of interviews done by Coach Andy Christie of Dacula HS. This interview is with Coach Mark Wetmore of the national distance powerhouse Colorado Buffaloes.
Coach Pae\'s Day 2 Blog from San Diego ,California.
Coach Pae\'s Blog from Footlocker Nationals as passed on to Coach Christie.
Coach Christie recently had a conversation with Andrew Heath about his running after his 28:55 10k performance.