2018 Meet of Champions Outlook

(photo by Daniel McCauley)

The Meet of Champions will be held at runner friendly Heritage Christian Church just south of Peachtree City.  22 Boys squads along with 23 unattached runners will tee it up first, followed by 20 Girls teams, including 21 individual runners a half hour later. The competition will be run in conjunction with the USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships following the Awards ceremony. Many athletes will be racing for a fast time, others see it as part of their training in a warm up for Foot Locker South. Almost all the teams going to NXN SE Regionals chose not to run. 

One huge factor coming into the races Saturday morning.. is 'Mother Nature'. This area has received a good amount of rain in the past 2+ weeks beginning with the Region 3-AAAAA race, softening up the surface, and some rainfall is forecast from Friday beginning at 6am thru 6pm. After sunset, temps are going to drop nearly 20 degrees down to a frigid (feels like 30 degrees) with 11mph winds kicking in by 7am, making it feel like being in a walk-in cooler at a restaurant (if you have ever been a restaurant mgr you can relate) So,  runners and fans prepare accordingly. And batten down those team tents so they do not fly away and hurt anyone. Fall has finally arrived in Georgia.. 

Kyle Harkabus at at&t Panther on 9-1
(photo by Daniel McCauley)

Championship Boys

Kyle Harkabus of East Coweta is a late entry, and the favorite to win the Boys individual race. Can Justin Wachtel from Mary Persons or Calan Gizelbach of Forsyth Central push him? 4 top All-Classes squads will slog it out for the title including:  7A South Forsyth, 6A Pope, 3A Westminster, and 5A Starrs Mill. Looking at each team's entries, if these squads race all out it could get pretty intense on this medium fast course.  

Boys teams

South Forsyth- 7A Champs
Westminster- 3A Champs
Pope- 6A Champs
Starr's Mill- 5A Champs
Deerfield Windsor- GISA 3A Boys Champs
Lakeside Evans
West Forsyth
North Hall
Marist (running their top JV squad)

Boys Top Individuals (unattached)

Kyle Harkabus- East Coweta (7A Boys Champ)
John Higinbotham- Veritas Classical (GICAA Champ)
Leo Lopez- Greene County (A Public Champ)
Asad Bashir- Fugees Academy (GISA Champ)
Justin Wachtel- Mary Persons (4A runnerup)
Calan Gizelbach- Forsyth Central (7A runnerup)
Kamari Miller- Marietta High School
Devin Wade- Whitefield Academy
Alex Thomas- North Oconee
Alex Dyck- Wheeler High School
Myles Collins- Archer HS
Wesley John- Oconee County High School
Zack Truitt- Landmark Christian School
Mikias Mekonen- Lakeside DeKalb
Davis Potts- North Oconee
Lance Sotelo- Dalton HS
Antaures Jackson- Eagle's Landing
Riley Thornton- Jefferson HS
Shane Shelafoe- East Jackson
Griffin Stephens- Banks County HS
Brandon Martin- Commerce
Larry Orsiini- The Cottage School
Jacob Gil- Chattahoochee HS

Brynne Sumner (L) and Erin Fegans at at&t Panther earlier this season
(photo by Daniel McCauley)

Championship Girls:

On the Girls side, Brynne Sumner of Woodstock is the favorite, after a 18:36 at Carrollton. But, Madelynne Cadeau of South Forsyth was only :03 back at 18:39..and Naima Turbes from Westminster is also entered and should be mixing it upfront with them..  Teamwise, from the entries, it appears to be a battle between 7A South Forsyth, State champs 5A Woodland and 6A Cambridge. 

Girls teams

South Forsyth- 7A Runnerups
Cambridge- 6A Champs
Woodland Cartersville- 5A Champs
Westminster- 3A Champs
Marist-  4A Champs (Running their competitive JV)
Atlanta International- A Private Champs
St. Pius X
West Forsyth
Blessed Trinity
Oconee County
Starr's Mill
Holy Innocents'

Girls Individuals (unattached)

Brynne Sumner- Woodstock HS (7A Champ)
Gracie O'Neal- Gordon Lee HS (A Pub Champ)
Zoe Sanchez- Union County (2A Champ)
Karmen Leroy- Trinity Dublin (GISA Champ)
McKenna Croft- Douglas County (6A runnerup)
Mackenzie Walls- Veterans HS 
Chloe Hetherington- Mountain View HS
Erin Fegans- Landmark Christian School
Emily Golden- Tift County High School
Jordan Walter- Paideia
Luna McCauley- Paideia
Haley Rose- Decatur High School
Simone Rojas- Evans High School
Frankie Muldoon- Dawson County
Elle Mezzio- Riverwood International
Charlotte Augenstein- Deerfield Windsor
Zoe Smith- McIntosh
Savannah Ledbetter- Cumberland Christian
Faith Bobak- Lyndon Academy
Reese Saddler- Brookwood