It was another great day of racing at the Mountain Invite at Unicoi State Park with conditions being excellent for racing despite the wet course conditions. Many 8-AAAA and 8-AAA teams competed head to head clarifying what squads are State bound and whose on the bubble.
Thomas Moore let it rip the final 400 Meters taking the Overall win. (pic by George Moore)
Thomas Moore from North Oconee has been en fuengo the past 6 days as he won the Overall Boys title with a smooth 15:38. Moore and Chase Kennedy dueled the entire race, but Moore turned on the burner with his 800m speed breaking Kennedy the final 400 meters. Kennedy had a solid race posting a 15:46 for 2nd place, Corson Teasley from North Hall placed 3rd at 15:55 outlasting Gerardo Suarez of Johnson at 15:57. Michael Hans rounds out the top 5 at 16:14.
North Oconee and North Hall settled (for now) who the best Region 8-AAAA squads are going 1st and 2nd in the team standings. Oconee was the top 8-AAA squad placing 3rd, Johnson (8-AAAA) was 4th and East Jackson may be closing the gap on the Warriors having added a new freshman who performed well.
Jenna Gearing strolls around a corner at Unicoi State Park (pic by George Moore)
It was a fantastic race up front among the 3 leaders, but Sr Jenna Gearing from host White County remained strong in her final Mountain Invitational winning by :10 almost going sub 18 clocking a 18:00.2. Sue Morales of East Jackson defeated Hart's Audrey Honiotes for the first time going 18:10 to Honiotes' 18:13. Frankie Muldoon from Dawson County had a great race herself taking 4th at 19:50. Rounding out the top 5 was White County frosh Jaelen Alexander posting 20:02.
Another 8-AAAA team battle went on between #5 White County and #6 North Oconee with the host Warrior's prevailing by 5 points White had the better top runners scoring low points, though North had a much better 1-5 Split. At State, North the Lady Titans could use that to their advantage...North Hall took 3rd as a team, while 8-AAA Hart County ran well placing 4th (top AAA squad) besting an improving Dawson County squad.
In the Boys race Griffin Phillips from Hart County was Overall Champ in 10:50 followed by Aldaco Christian of West Hall (11:12) Gainesville MS won another team title, winning by 38 points over host White County MS.
A bright shining star may be in the making under Coach Tomy Sitton's tutelage as 6th grade newcomer Jewelee Love from East Jackson MS sped to victory as an individual clocking a 12:24. Ellie Gearing from White County MS was a strong 2nd at 12:44. Hebron Christian won a hard fought battle over White County MS by 8 points with Vickery Creek back in 3rd.