Stockwell and Fair Gallop for Gold at Aubrae Gunderson
All Images by Dan McCauley
White Race Lead Pack includes: Dax Willette, Colton Page, Davis Stockwell and Abbas Abbkar
Fan favorites, the Clarkston Varsity Boys earned the coveted first place team trophy by placing their five scoring runners in the top twenty for a total of 55 points. Stockwell's win helped to propel Lakeside into a solid second place with 81 points over Starrs Mill High School who had 107. Right from the gun, a talented group formed, including eight guys from eight different schools, Heritage’s superfrosh Jallah Galimah, Justin Weegar of Evans, Greenbriar’s Logan Hughes, Jake Shubert of Flowery Branch, Dax Willette of Rockdale County, Allatoona’s Colton Page, Abbas Abbkar of Clarkston, and Stockwell, who was biding his time. This aggressive pack tore through the first mile in a blistering 4:50, shedding any wannabe contenders. Without backing off the throttle, the leading runners diminished in numbers as they flew. Then there were five, racing neck in neck and shoulder to shoulder through the second mile in 10:01, Willette, Page, Stockwell, and Abbkar, with Shubert on their heels.
Lakeside's Davis Stockwell motors to the top performance of the day in 16:03
During the third mile, as the course turned right, the runners were faced with a formidable climb. Taking on the challenge of this beast, the front runners powered up and over the climb. As they emerged from the woods, Page, Abbkar, and Willette chased Stockwell to his rock solid finish of 16:03.40, with an exciting sprint for second where Abbkar held off Page and Willette by .75 and 1.30 seconds respectively.
Shannon Fair from Aquinas was the top female performer at 19:11
Not to be outdone by the boys, the Starrs Mill Varsity Girls showed their strength and depth by posting a team score of 49 and taking the team win. They bested Flowery Branch, who took second with 64 points, and Lakeside High School with 75. Shannon Fair proved too strong for the competition as she took the lead during the first mile and never looked back. Archer senior McKenzie Knudsen chased valiantly, ahead of Starrs Mill frosh, Mary Valli, but Fair extended her lead after the two mile mark, ending with a time a 19:11.27, and decisively clinching her victory of 37 seconds. Knudsen and Valli were second and third.
East Paulding's Christian Nix wins the Boys Red Race in 17:06
Before the White Race, the day kicked off with the Red Boys (5A/6A). 160 runners representing 17 teams took to the starting line in the largest Varsity field of the day. East Paulding’s Christian Nix took the lead, chased by Richmond Hills’ Tanner Hicks. Winder-Barrow’s Timmy Villamater and Cedar Shoals frosh, Iyasu Binchamo, continued to work hard just behind, along with Tomislav Zabcic-Matic of Clarke Central. In the end, Nix won in 17:06.90, ahead of Timmy Villamater, with Binchamo taking third over Zabcic-Matic by less than a second.
Allyssa Sheffield from East Paulding easily won the Girls Red Race going 20:15
It was an Allyssa vs. Alyssa match-up for the Red Girls. Allyssa Sheffiield of East Paulding took control and a dominating lead by the end of the race, with a time of 20:15.00, 48 seconds over the runner-up, Alyssa O’Neill of Mountain View High School. Richmond Hill teammates, Jenn Thorpe and Rachel Hammesfahr, rounded out the top four and helped Richmond Hill take home the Team trophy with 60 points. Winder-Barrow took second with 78 points, and North Atlanta finished one point ahead of Mountain View, 107 to 108.
Oconee County's Michael Hans wins the Boys Blue race in a quick 16:48
In the Blue race for Boys (1A-4A), Michael Hans of Oconee County took the early lead and continued to plow ahead, finishing in 16:48.07, 24 seconds in front of Chamblee’s Abraham Araya. Hans’ teammate, Isaac Krumm, took the last podium spot and helped secure the team win of an impressive 32 points. Grady High School and the Spalding High Jaguars were second and third with totals of 50 and 93 points.
Madison Allie from Locust Grove poses for a victory shot w/ her grandparents
Frosh Madison Allie of Locust Grove showed her tremendous potential in the Girls Blue race with her time of 20:50.95, a nearly 19 second lead over seniors Caroline Henry of Galloway and Bethany Terpin of Oconee County. Unfortunately, Allie’s parents were out of town, but her grandparents were there to witness her PR. In the Team competition, Oconee County squeaked out a win over George Walton Academy with a mere 3 point difference. The Galloway girls followed in third.
Will Ponder (8th grader) leads the Boys JV race ahead of eventual winner Emiliano Arerano of Lakeside DK
In the largest field of the day, a massive group of 322 JV boys lined up to compete. In the end, Lakeside senior Emiliano Arelano was victorious with a time of 18:11.04, keeping 18 seconds over Oglethorpe’s eighth grader, Dawson Frey. Another eighth grader, Ponder Will from Walnut Grove High School, came in at third.
8th Grade Grady teammates Selenna Klebber and Anna Tischer swept the HS Girls JV race
Young runners dominated in the JV Girls race as well. Eighth Grade Grady teammates Selena Klebber and Anna Tischer wasted no time opening up a huge gap over Flowery Branch’s Olivia Correa, and they finished side by side, in 22:34.12 and 22:34.31, nearly a minute ahead of the competition.
#617 Jamie Jacoby from GWA won the MS Boys in 12:37. #1411 Matthew Aspinwall of Sutton 3rd, #1234 Elijah McCauley of Paideia 4th.
The sun came out briefly at the start of the Middle School Boys race, but it did not last, much to the relief of the fired up runners on the line. After a fast start and much overly enthusiastic sprinting for the lead, the pack settled down, and Jamie Jacoby of George Walton established a lead and maintained a steady distance of about a hundred meters over second place Matthew Aspinwall of Sutton. At the finish, Jacoby clocked a time of 12:37.30 for two miles. Trevor Gray of Spalding and Paideia sixth grader Elijah McCauley were third and fourth. The top three teams were the Hebron Christian Lion’s, the Bulldogs of George Walton Academy, and Clarke Middle School out of Athens.
6th grader Brooklyn Fugel from Hebron Christian won the MS Girls race clocking a 14:38
In the last race of the day, the Hebron Christian girls dominated, taking first, second and fifth, as well as the first place team trophy with a scant 33 points. Brooklyn Fugel bested her teammate McKenna Taylor with a finishing time of 14:38.70. Clarke’s Emma Ramsay took third and helped to secure the second place trophy for her team. Paideia School Girls earned third in the team competition scoring five girls in the top fifteen.
Hebron Christian Middle Schoolers celebrate after sweeping the MS Team titles!
Meet Director Scott Wade of Heritage High School once again did an amazing job, both with the course design and keeping the meet running like clockwork. It was also a terrific bonus and a pleasant surprise to be able to park buses closer to the meet start this year. Thanks for a fantastic Invitational!