(all photos by Ben Ennis)
The Saucony Battle of Atlanta may have been without 2 of the top stars in Georgia this Saturday which opened the gates for some harriers to make a splash early this season. Over 70 teams and close to 2500 runners competed on the picturest gentle rolling hills of historic Nash Farms Battlefield. Conditions were very good for the early races and the course was in tip top shape.
It seemed as Marist was on a mission as the War Eagles dominated the Boys race, leaving no doubts as to a possible #1 All-Classes ranking after Labor Day and their Girls triumphed as well.
Mark White of Lakeside Evans won the Boys race impressively going 16:18.
Mark White, Lakeside Evans, Kyle Harkabus of East Coweta and James Cragin of Archer took the lead early in the boys varsity race. As a team Marist was tightly packed behind them with Tanner Reid of Perry, Griffin McCauley of Paideia and Zack Truitt of Landmark running with the Marist pack.
A hungry chase pack trys to keep up with White.
White made a move with about 600m to go. Evans and Harkabus were gapped and closed slightly at the end but couldn't catch him. Meanwhile the Marist pack closed hard on the leaders to dominate the team score with a strong West Forsyth team second and North Oconee third.
Marist's Boys dominated the team race.
Top 5 Boys Individuals (l-r) Ryan White, Kyle Harkabus, William O'Rielly, Leif Andersen and James Cragin.
Erin Fegans of Landmark Christian keeps up the family tradition taking 1st Overall in 19:07.
The girls was a duel between not only the Marist and Landmark teams but also their top guns - Fegans and Wirtz. Erin Fegans of Landmark led the majority of the race while Josie Wirtz lay back a little. Wirtz closed late but couldn't pass Fegans. At mile 1, Sophia West and Wirtz were side by with Fegans stalking them.
Haley Rose of Decatur had a really strong race as well. In the team race though the outcome was different as Marist came out on top 62-110 with St. Pius girls not too far back of Landmark and West Forsyth girls in 4th. at mile 1 west and wirtz were side by with fegans right behind.