North Georgia Championships Preview

North Ga Championships Preview

This will be the 3rd installment of the North Georgia XC Championships held at Lamar Murphy Park course in Jefferson. the meet is the brainchild of Hall of Fame coach Tomy Sitton, after the long running NEGA meet became defunct in 2015.  The meet has grown to 43 teams for this Saturday.  The moderately challenging layout, borders the correctional facility, which should concern no one at all, as the occupants are not allowed in 'the yard' during the meet.. 

The course is mostly grass with some dirt terrain. It's 2 loops, with an unusual uphill start, but includes 3 long downhills including a very fast finish. There will be 6 races beginning at 8am with the Championship Boys, followed by the Girls, then very large JV Boys and Girls races. The meet will conclude with a large MS boys race followed by MS girls. 

Boys Championship:

Its difficult to predict what teams will be in contention, as based on a virtual meet we ran (including 2017, and current 2018 5K times for runners entered. 7A North Gwinnett definitely has the numbers and depth with the enormity of their squad. Clarke Central had a great 2017, making the 5A Podium at State behind new Coach Alex Holmes and this could be a springboard for them. North Hall is always competitive (since the 'Freight Train of Pain Squad that dethroned Westminster 11 years ago), have a new coach and energy with Sam Borg and the top harrier in 3A with defending Champ Devan Crow, and is definitely in the mix. Flowery Branch will be in unfamiliar territory, after longtime coach Jimmy Sorrells has departed to North Forsyth. In a strange situation, North OC and Oconee are not attending the meet as well as local squads Athens Academy and ACS. Too bad for them..

Top Boys to Watch:

Girls Championship:

On the Girls side, it looks to be a 3 way race, with 7A North Gwinnett, seeming to have too much depth and experience racing against super class squads in 2017 to be overcome. They also come in as the defending champs and usually place 4-5 runners in the top 15 spots. White County had a nice 2017, it will be interesting how they fare in 4A this season with a longtime coach departing. They will need to push it to compete with a deep North Gwinnett squad. Flowery Branch traditionally starts very slow, but with a new head coach, who knows what to expect...

Top Girls to Watch

5000 Meter Run