Wow, what a transformation the International Horse Park course has evolved into..? Known in the past decade as a fairly challenging layout has morphed into a very fast, benign course. I walked the course back in 2005 and that woods 2-3 mile stretch was plain nasty, especially the hill that wound upwards increasing in elevation thru wide horse ruts..One can understand how changes were made to benefit horses and horsemen, but the course raced on today seems to definitely be much faster. A 'hot topic' this has been (per Yoda) what remains to be seen or heard from are savvy veteran coaches and their opinions/valuations of the 'new route'
Championship Boys (White Race)
Mill Creek swept the Individual Titles as Tyler Woodrome turns it on at the Horse Park Image by Pinion Photography
The 'White Race' I believe a telling factoid of the course speed was 6A 1600 Meter State Champ Tyler Woodrome of Mill Creek feasted on the layout cranking out a very fast 15:11 for the top performance of the day. Reilly Friedman of Galloway took advantage as well with a smokin' 15:28 runnerup finish. All of the top 10 runners had significant season prs begging the question....
Flowery Branch and Mill Creek went to the wire in the Boys team race as the Falcons snatched the title with a 2 point margin of victory over 2012 defending 6A Champ Hawks. The Branch is making an art out of packing their top 5 in with no frontrunners challenging for individual awards...Their 1-5 Split was 14 seconds sports fans, does anyone pack it in at as high a level in Georgia as the Facons? James Slavik led the squad pacing the pack placing 10th at 16:09 Woodrome and Eric Westog (15:55) led Mill Creek's 2nd place team effort.
Clarkston, yes, Clarkston continued to surprise the XC Community scoring a 3rd in the team standings besting highly ranked 5A Starrs Mill. Budding stars for them could be junior Gidya Salhu (16:12) and Muhhozi Aimable (16:20)as both clocked sub 16:21's in the 'White Race' Individually, Christian Bowles placed 3rd in 15:45 ahead of Lakeside-DK's Davis Stockwell in 15:53
In a throwdown of the recently announced Ga.MileSplit.com 'Fall's Fleet Frosh' article, Allen Clark of Lakeside Evans beat Rockdale County's Dax Willette by 1.63 seconds as Clark recorded a 16:03.19
Lauren Hovis of Mill Creek Wins Girls Overall Ttile in the competitve 'White Race' Image by Pinion Photography
Very large, 6A school Mill Creek easily won the Girls Championship race scoring 50 points as Lauren Hovis won the overall individual title in 18:31 Helping the Hawks winning efforts were top 7 placers Hannah Lopez (19:06) and Alexandra Froh (19:42) #2 ranked AA Westminster ended up 2nd ahead of top ranked 5A power Starrs Mill. The Lady Cats may have a fight on their hands once again in November with defending champ Wesleyan. Charlotte Folinus is their top runner (placing 8th in 19:48) and after the departure of multiple distance champ Sahara Fletcher to 'The Ohio State University" Hailey Gollnick was the top Panther in Conyers placing 4th in 19:01
Not foreseen earlier, was a tussle of three of 'Fall's Fleet Frosh' in the same race earlier today as these young ladies finished in the top 5 of the most competitive race of the event. Morgan Mihalis of Lakeside-DK was the cream of the crop on this day placing 2nd clocking a questionably quick 18:37 at the re-configured course used Saturday. About 50 meters back Micah Weathers of Winder-Barrow powered in at 18:47 with Alyssa Hooker of Lakeside-Evans in tow placing 5th in 19:04
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