Graham Blanks Smokes Course Record Going 15:33!


(photos by Dan McCauley)

Graham Blanks

It's a crying shame we are not going to see Graham Blanks and Justin Wachtel go heads up this season. Blanks has decided to run at NXN SE Regionals and Wachtel is heading to Foot Locker South, and one of them is not racing at Meet of Champions on 11/16. Blanks completely decimated the A Private field on the icy Carrollton course. Devin Wade of Whitefield tried to go with him, but Blanks (like The Terminator) never broke stride, maintaining nearly the same pace throughout the race. His 15:33 shattered the course record held by Foot Locker Finalist Jacob McLeod of Trinity Christian. 

A Private Boys Start

Here is a breakdown of the race: 

Blanks and Wade led at bottom of the long downhill heading across the street, and had mile 1 splits of:  Blanks (4:45), and Wade (4:47) Zack Truitt was lurking around in 3rd. Cresting 'Separation Slope,' Blanks had a 25m lead over Wade, extending it to a 50m lead coming downhill beginning the 2nd loop.  Howie and Prince were closely engaged at 4,5 with McCauley of Paideia 6th. Wesleyan looked to be leading the team race, as many green singlets were in close proximity. Wade hit the 2 mile mark at an incredible 9:50, with Truitt now 2nd and Wade 3rd . Blanks continued to motor away to the win in 15:33, with Truitt holding his ground for 2nd at 16:05 and Wade settling for 3rd in 16:27. Meanwhile, there was an intense duel going on for 4th place bragging rights as in a great finish, Mac Howie of Wesleyan outsprinted a determined Evan Prince of Tallulah Falls with both recording 16:53's with Howie .17 seizing the 4th spot.  

Champ Graham Blanks

Mac Howie of Champ Wesleyan

For the team win, defending Champ Wesleyan was beating Holy Innocents at every spot from 1-5 and continued to 'finish the race' per Coach McDaniel, and closed escrow for a 28 point margin of victory over game Holy Innocents squad. Stafford McDaniel was back in action for the Wolves' after a 3 week hiatus and placed 7th overall posting a 17:15. 

Runnerup Zack Truitt

Devin Wade

Evan Prince

Joe Sapone

Golden Bear frosh Joe Sapone, may have earned himself a 'nickname' as he was heard conversing with close competitors about something, but the 'Flying Hawaiian' regained his stride racing to 6th overall in a time of  17:13 helping push Holy Innocents to a runnerup team spot. 

Elijah McCauley

The Pythons of Paideia ran a very smart race, led by a pair juniors who earned All-State recognition, led by Sam Colton placing 9th overall at 17:25 with Elijah McCauley taking 10th overall in 17:29. Their 3-5 harriers were key in shutting the door on Landmark Christian. Landmark Christian settled for ascending the Podium 4th behind Truitt's 2nd place run and Kameron Jackson's 11th place finish. Making the All-State squad was Sr. Grady Coppock of Savannah Christian Prep who placed 8th at 17:24 leading his squad to 8th place as a team. 


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