Collins On Fire In 7A, Walton Boys Gift Gower

7A Boys Start

(photos by Dan McCauley)

What an incredible race! Myles Collins going 15:46 and then, all the planets lined up just right for something special to become.. Walton HS was ranked #1 All-Classes after the Coach Wood Invitational, and it proved correct that our Ranker was onto something. The Raiders' bounced up and down the 'ladder' of the Team Rankings in 2019, but when it mattered (as it always does for large schools) its 'what have you done lately for me?) As teams have ebbs and flows depending on their overall health and the course they are racing on. It

Myles Collins on the move cresting "Elementary Hill'

Race Breakdown:

The crowd is really fired up for the 7A boys race just before the instructions are given. Definitely from top to bottom the fastest field at the meet. The filed blasted off the starting line in one giant horde. Collins took the lead and created a 20m gap as he flew down the big hill. The race was on now as Collins, Harkabus Hayes sped past the mile 1 mark Collins (4:50, 2nd fastest of the meet), Hayes (4:59)crowd is fired up Collins built up a 90m lead beginning the 2nd loop followed Hayes and Kamari Miller. Didn't hear the 2 mile split, but Myles was firmly in control of the race trying to best Blanks' 15:33 earlier.  miller 3rdmile 2- Collins has 100m lead as he crested 'Separation Slope' with 400m left and crossed the finish line at 15:46.

Walton 7A Champs

Connor Old

Walton, definitely is at high tide. Their top 5 all peaking at the perfect time,  behind the man pulling the strings, Coach Travis Gower.  7A is an insane class, from top to bottom, easily the fastest in Georgia as everyone in the Boy's race was done at 22:36 (including a very rural region in SE Georgia) Its almost comical, watching the coaches trying to manually tabulate their team scores, but at the same time, very exciting! Leading the Raiders' to their 1st team title in 33 years were a pair of seniors, including Connor Old taking 5th overall clocking a 16:18 and Zac Shaffer 7th in 16:21. The Raiders' 1-5 split of :59 wasn't the best in 7A, but having 2 frontrunners only scoring 12 points and a 16:46 avg. was a big advantage in this fast class. 

Coaches Comments: 

Very proud of these boys, especially happy for these seniors. Connor Old and Zac Shaffer have been the leaders of this team for years and they helped the young guys step up after losing senior Alex Helms for the season and without senior Erik Pitts getting back to form in time. Samuel Balboa, Evan Sommer, Brick Conway, Wylie Bingham, and Harrison Waddell have all stepped their game up this season. We just kept getting stronger and stronger from Wingfoot to Manhattan to Area to state. Happy to get Walton it's first boys title since 1986!

Noah Noah Hayes & Kyle Harkabus

As always, it was a frantically chaotic race for the top 4 Team spots. Lambert's Horns' were bullish on the competition, finishing 2nd as a team 18 points behind Walton, with top runner Cooper Bocko racing to a 8th place finish in 16:25. One thing for certain, is that West Forsyth had the loudest fan support (especially on the Baseball field at the Awards Ceremony! The Wolverines had a 1-5 team split of :41 pushing them to a 3rd place team Podium spot. Sr. Josh Whedbee paced the pack placing 9th overall in 16:35. 

Kamari Miller (1675)

Marietta HS ended their season on a very high note, as the young Blue Devils claimed the final team Podium spot 23 points ahead of South Forsyth HS. Kamari Miller had a nice race, finishing 3rd overall clocking a 16:09 and soph James May was 11th at 16:40. 2018 defending Champ, Kyle Harkabus of East Coweta HS, has had a trying  season this Fall, but a 4th place overall finish of 16:15 is still very strong! Brennan Bower of South Forsyth rounds out the top 10 placing 6th overall in 16:19, but it wasn't enough for the Eagles' to ascend the team podium on Saturday..