Foot Locker Finalist Justin Wachtel (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Georgia's HS boys performed very well at Foot Locker South this past weekend, highlighted by Justin Wachtel's 4th place finish of 15:03 and John Higinbotham's 8th place effort of 15:07. This is the first time Georgia has advanced 2 male athletes to Foot Locker Nationals since 2012, when Josh Brickell of Peachtree Ridge finished 2nd in 14:49 and Brad Hort of McIntosh placed 6th at 14:59. (Simon Holder actually attended Baylor School in Chattanooga, though he resided in GA)
Wachtel 'The Lord of the South' was undefeated in Tournament this season, winning much Gold in 7 events, including 'The Battle of Atlanta, Wingfoot XC Classic and GHSA State' until he suffered a loss at Meet of Champions by the First Knight of Veritas, Sir John Higinbotham. But Lord Justin raised his game at Foot Locker South, going out strong, led for a while, before finally settling in comfortably taking 4th overall at 15:03 punching his ticket for Foot Locker Nationals.
Foot Locker Finalist John Higinbotham (photo by Daniel McCauley)
Sir John Higinbotham 'the First Knight of Veritas' has travelled the road less taken compared to many warriors, as he was shunned by associations with his 'home schooled' status. Being forced into competitions with older and more seasoned Knights at longer distances (8k). This turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, as Sir John rose to the occasion in 5k's against high schoolers, including defending his title at the Meet of Champions besting Lord Wachtel. Although boxed in early at Foot Locker South, he resolved to move up during the fracas, and made a mad dash down the homestretch taking 8th overall in 15:07 earning a spot in the grandest of Tournaments, Foot Locker Nationals next weekend!