(all photos by Daniel McCauley) more photos Coming!!
It was a near perfect morning for racing at the pristine Heritage Christian Church course just south of golf cart path haven Peachtree City. After 2 day of rain Friday (softening the turf) the layout still provided very quick times, one wonders if it had been hard and dry if some sub 15:00/18:00 (girls) times would have been achieved on a course that is similar in speed to McAlpine Park at Foot Locker South. The team races were a bit diluted due to perhaps the HS basketball season and athletes having other extracurricular interests. But, the individual battles upfront were engaging (Watch the Race Video)
John Higinbotham defended his 2018 title
John Higinbotham of Veritas Classical (homeschooled) came in as the defending champ. He had been competing during the regular season as unattached in a few collegiate races, often running 8k races (including a 24:57 at Great American) Higinbotham was upfront in the lead pack throughout the race (Atlanta Track Club singlet) created some separation in the 2nd half of the race and held off a huge sprint by Justin Wachtel of Mary Persons HS down the homestretch taking the win in 15:06. Wachtel (who is headed to Foot Locker South) ran out of course in his attempt to catch Higinbotham taking runnerup honors in 15:08. Devin Wade of Whitefield Academy had a strong race placing 3rd overall clocking a 15:13. Andrew Jones of North Hall crossed the mats 4th, posting a 15:20.
Harrison is the Boys Team Champ
Sully Shelton's 5th place effort of 15:28 led the Harrison Hoyas to the team title as they bested 3A Pace Academy by 13 points. Noah Connelly of the Hoyas' placed 18th overall in 16:02 to help secure the team win. Pace was led by George Adams in 24th (16:10) and Edward Blaha 29th (16:13) Marietta came in 3rd as a team 5 points back led by Kamari Miller's 12th place finish of 15:44.
Top 20 Boys in the Champions Race
Hannah Miniutti is the Girls Overall Champ
Junior Hannah Miniutti of Blessed Trinity (4A Champ) has been on fire since she took a spectacular win 'Under the Lights' at Wingfoot XC Classic back on 9/21. She won 5 out of 7 races this Fall, and capped it all off taking the Overall crown Saturday morning going 18:03. Her race was very similar to all her wins, starting off in the back of the lead pack, and slowly taking her time moving up a spot or 2 throughout the race, until ultimately taking the lead and charging hard the last 1/4. There was a tight group of 5 girls in contact with her, including Madelynne Cadeau of South Forsyth who ran shoulder to shoulder with Miniutti for some time, before having to settle for runnerup posting an 18:10. Erin Fegans of Landmark Christian led some of the race, and finished 3rd overall at 18:16. The next 3 runners were a photo finish as Emily Little of Marist placed 4th (18:21.15), Mackenzie Walls of Veterans HS 5th (18:21.45) and McKenna Croft of Douglas County 6th (18:22)
St. Pius X Girls are Team Champions
In the team race, All-Classes #1 St. Pius X benefitted from having their top 5 all racing and sped to the girls team title besting rival Marist by 33 points. Leading the hunt for the Golden Lions were Morgan Vaden placing 13th in 18:41, followed by Mary Brady in 14th at 18:44. Marist was paced by Emily Little's 4th place overall effort on 18:21 and Kathleen Schellman back in 34th (19:26) 7A South Forsyth was only 4 points back finishing 3rd in the team standings led by Madelynne Cadeau's 2nd place overall finish of 18:10 and Sophia Baker's 22nd place effort of 19:11
Top 20 Girls from the Champions Race
Photo Collage Coming later tonight!