Inside Look at the At&t Starrs Mill Panther Meet

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AT&T Starr's Mill Cross Country Meet 2018 - Preview
By Don Livingston

Starr's Mill High School team hosts 47 teams and 1717 athletes.  With 7 out of state teams, this year's AT&T Starr's Mill XC Meet features top teams and individuals from Georgia & Alabama going head to head on the beautiful Heritage XC Course in Peachtree City.  This year's elite athlete is Johnny Gregorek, 10th in the World Championship in the 1500m and a 3:53 miler.  He will be on hand to help with awards and sign autographs.  It is going a great Saturday of XC competition! MileSplit GA will be onsite shooting video for the first time ever and photos!

Boys Team Outlook

In the boys' team race, projecting who will be in the top 4 is tough. Some teams opened last week on flat courses while others ran hilly courses; and, most of the Alabama schools are opening their season this weekend.  Given that, Starr's Mill should win with Auburn (AL), Smith Station (AL), East Coweta, and Newnan battling for the top 4 spots. 

Starr's Mill boys' team looks strong.  They opened up last week with at McAlpin Greenway in Charlotte where they finished 3rd out of 50 schools; Nick Nyman opened at 15:52.  Fultz, Duben, Perry, & Norton had 50 secs pack of 4.

East Coweta had a good opener last week and it will challenge for the top 4 team spots with several under 18.

Auburn is always strong.  The open up the season this weekend.  While they may not have the depth they have had the past 3 years when they won 3 straight Alabama state XC titles, they are deep and well coached.  They will be upfront and eager to win again. Look for Evan Rogers, and team to upfront.

Smith Station (AL) opens up their season this weekend.  They had a strong 2017 and return several top runners.

Newnan had a strong 2017 campaign and returns some depth.  New Coaches Austin Enriquez and Emily Enriquez will have their team ready for the 2018 season.

For the boys' individual title:
Two of the state's best runners:  Kyle Harkabus- East Coweta and Nick Nyman- Starr's Mill will go head to head; these two will be well out front of the pack.   Harkabus opened on Bob Blastow's fast course with a 15:12.  Places #3 thru #10 will be anyone's call.  Here is who to watch in the 2nd pack: 

Porter Hill- Deerfield Windsor, Domonic Macias- Union Grove, Harrison Fultz - Starr's Mill,  Ty Duben- Starr's Mill, Antaraus Jackson- Eagle's Landing,  Silas Franklin- Smith Station (AL), Charlie Lott- Trinity Presbyterian (AL), Mikal Hogue - Cheorkee and Evan Rogers- Auburn (AL)

Girls Team Outlook

In the girls' race, the Auburn girls are the clear favorite.  The 2017 State XC Champions are the strongest team in the field with likely 7 runners in the top 20. Chasing them will be Starr's Mill, with Woodstock, and Union Grove battling for 2nd place.

Auburn brings back most of their dominate 2017 team.  Samantha Rogers (18.17), Harper McGowan (18.36), and Sara Pacer (18.54)   lead teammates Taylor Engram, Hannah Dyal, Sarah Parnell and Hallie Stewart. They will have 5-7 girls in the top 20

Starr's Mill girls' team opened last week in Charlotte, NC taking 3rd out of 50 schools.  Darby Olive, Allie Walker, and Megan Dobso lead teammates Zemmie Steger, and Audra Daniel, a 90 sec pack.  They should have 5 in the top 30.

Woodstock opens the season this weekend.  They are led by Anna Burnett and Brynne Sumner.   They look like a contender for the top 4 team.

Union Grove's girls are off to a strong start this season.  With Freshman Gabby Parsons (20:13) running in #1 spot.

For the girl's individual title: 

Landmark's Erin Fegans (19:16 opener), Anna Burnett- Woodstock, Charlotte Augenstein- Deerfiled Windsor (19:35), and Auburn teammates Harper McGowan and Samantha Rogers to be in that lead pack.  Laney Doster - Jones Cnty, Darby Olive- Starr's Mill, Haley Rose- Decatur and Gabby Parson will be in the next pack.
The Middle school races are as strong as ever.  With 15 teams and 450 middle runners will expect to see some fast times.  

Schedule of races: 

6:30 am Packet Pick-up Opens and Course Open for Warm-ups

7:50 am Course Closes for Warm-ups

8:00 am Varsity Girls (10 runners)

8:30 am Varsity Boys (10 runners)

9:00 am JV Girls (unlimited)

9:30 am JV Boys (unlimited)

10:00 am Freshman Boys and Girls (run together, scored & awarded separately) 

10:30 am Middle School Girls -3000m

10:50 am Middle School Boys - 3000m 

11:15 am Awards (we should be done by 12:15pm)