Once again this year on the banks of the Etowah, just across the river from the site of Atlanta Track Club's Wingfoot XC Classic, the Run at the Rock will be contested. It is the twelfth edition of the meet and the largest to date.
The course on the "lower forty," as the student body calls it, is on the campus of Woodland High School in Cartersville. As one might guess from the name of the meet, the race features a climb up and down a large hill known as the "rock." The ascent to the top of the rock is approximately a quarter mile in length. This year about 40 teams are expected to attend the meet to contend for the titles of kings and queens of the rock. The weather is expected to be warm but the middle of the course, which is shaded, flat and downhill, will offer some relief to the competitors after the climb.
An added feature this year is a middle school division and we are looking forward to some spirited competition among the younger runners as they race each other up and down the hill. This will also be a good warm-up for the high school teams in region 7-AAAAA as the region meet will be held on this course in 2018 for the third straight year.
It is sometimes hard to predict outcomes this early in the season, especially since some of the teams that are entered have not raced yet this season, but here is a preview of the boys and girls varsity races based on the teams and competitors that are expected:
Boys Team: Teams expected to be in contention for one of the three team trophies to be awarded are Kennesaw Mountain (1st at Ridge Ferry last week), Rome, North Forsyth, Hiram and host Woodland (2nd at Ridge Ferry).
Girls Team: The host Lady 'Cats (first at Ridge Ferry last week, 19:04 avg.) should battle with Providence Christian, region rival Rome (4th at Ridge Ferry), Kennesaw Mountain, River Ridge (3rd at Ridge Ferry) and North Forsyth for the hardware.
Boys Individual: Defending champ Alex Dyck is expected to compete again this year. Joining him in the battle for the 15 medals to be awarded should be Caleb Hall (1st at Lambert River Run in16:13, 2nd at Cherokee) and Josh Schunk (4th at Cherokee) of North Forsyth; Landon King of Providence; Esdras Real of Rome; Riley Kirstine of Kennesaw Mountain; and John Shrophire of Woodland.
Girls Individual: Expected to be in the mix for medals are Faith Bobak (3rd at Cherokee) of Lyndon Academy; Jennifer Woolery and Ayden Drake of Providence Christian; Madison Tallman of Kennesaw Mountain; defending champion Carli Clymer of Woodland; as well as Woodland runners McKenna Trapheagen (1st at Ridge Ferry, 18:28), Angela "Tess" Cochran (2nd at Ridge Ferry), Rylee Evans (2017 MS state champion), Baylee Evans and Cheyenne Spinks.
There will be a $5 parking fee per car. Concessions and T- shirts will be available for purchase.