Boys Championship Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
If one had went out to do a pre-race visit a couple of days before the race, they would have found what amounted to be a deserted overgrown field (except for the Ranger's office) next to the Chattahoochee River, with not much evidence of an existing cross country course. But, Mill Creek's program went into action, preparing and transforming that same field into a nice layout quickly, with over 2900 runners and 53 schools ready to race, making the final slow drive down a 1 lane road that leads into McIntosh Nature Reserve just like decades ago.. The course was a bit softer than Foxfall Spoting Club and with the zig zags added back in 2018 (due to the river flooding the course) it ran slower than Asics per our 'source'
Championship Boys got the race rolling early just as the fog had burned away
There were some real studs in the field, for making it a challenging race upfront, as many of Georgia's best harriers were competing. A lead group of up to 8 runners were in close contact at the halfway point of the race (see below)
8 runners form a tight group with the outcome still in doubt..
Sully Shelton and Myles Collins go for the win meters from the finish line
In another fantastic finish this season, Sully Shelton of #1 All-Classes Harrison HS, surged ahead the final 20 meters, taking the win clocking a 14:58.91 with Collins of Archer HS just 2 strides in the rear posting a 14:49.58! Devin Wade of Whitefield Academy placed 3rd in 15:02 putting him directly on a collision course against Graham Blanks of Athens Academy in the A Private State Championship.. A pair of Bama' juniors finished next, including Ethan Strand of Vestavia Hills (AL) in 4th at 15:04 and Crawford Hope of Homewood in 15:06. Cole Heron of Pope took 6th overall in 15:10. Homewood was the meet team Champ, with Scottsboro (AL) 2nd and Harrison HS 3rd.
L-R Georgia gals Vaden, McCartney, Trapheagen, Hernandez and Walls are in the lead pack
Much like the Boys race, there were some heavy hitters competing, and 1 last showdown loomed between #1 and #2 All Class squads Marist and St. Pius X before the State Meet, along with 7A #1 Hillgrove HS also in the field. There is video coming of this race from Mill Creek HS soon, so I will not add conjecture on what happened during the race and let the video speak for itself.
Morgan Vaden of St. Pius is hitting on all cylinders as she raced to the Individual win in 17:43
The team race played out as expected, based on previous head to head matchups between Marist and St. Pius X. The Golden Lions are stronger upfront, but the War Eagles depth trumped that advantage, similar to the outcome at Great American ROC. Morgan Vaden has been on a tear since the Wingfoot XC Classic and showed no signs of a letdown, winning the Individual title clocking a 17:43 on the softer layout (as it was not as hard packed as Foxhall or as firm as Wingfoot) Dang, we could really use some use some rain and cooler temps for Region and State....
McKenna Trapheagen of Woodland was 2nd overall runnerup clocking a 17:56
Georgia gals finished in the top 5 of the top 6 spots, including champ Vader, overall runnerup McKenna Trapheagen of Woodland in 17:56, Mary Brady of St. Pius X 3rd at 17:59, Mackenzie Walls of Veterans HS placing 5th going 18:05 and Kathleen Schellman from Marist placing 6th posting a 18:12. Lainey Phelps from Homewood (AL) finished 4th overall at 18:00
Mary Brady of St. Pius X and Kathleen Schellman of Marist duel near the end of the race.
More Coming on the Coach Wood Invitational, stay tuned..