Kamari Miller shattered the McIntosh Reserve 3-mile record posting a 14:07. (all photos by Marc Logan)
With the course in near perfect condition, early morning temps mild, with a well thought out and executed plan including the finish/start areas, spectator and tent areas along with box assignments and time between race starts the stage was set. Coach Demarest commented, "Coach Robinson had to jump through multiple hoops to make this happen. He had well-marked spectator areas, security to help keep areas clear and safe, quick and safe delivery of awards (no ceremony - just packed up and handed out), and Alexander coaches and volunteers throughout the course assisting. There is NO blueprint for how a meet should be run during Pandemic XC, but I'd be willing to bet that many races throughout the season borrow and/or build upon ideas that Coach Robinson and his crew outlined. They followed GHSA and CDC protocol about as well as can be reasonably expected."
The fastest boys race of the morning was varsity race 12 as Senior Kamari Miller of Marietta put on a show of racing that will not soon be forgotten. Miller ran away from a very talented field in the varsity boys race 12, going on to set a new course record clocking a 14:07 leading the Blue Devils to the overall team win. He passed some great runners from the past, including Joe Thorne of Lakeside DeKalb, Sam Bowers of Milton, Myles Collins of Archer, Ben Hubers of McEachern, and Girma Mecheso from Berkmar.
Kamari Miller all alone with no chase pack insight.
Coach Coleman talks about Kamari's race, "I was taken back by the fast time. I didn't see it coming. The goal for Kamari's race was simply to go out and run a solid race. There were no plans for pacing or trying for a specific time goal. The goal was to stay solid throughout the race and help our team get off to a good opening weekend. Kamari had trained really well over the spring and summer, without any injuries or setbacks. Early on Kamari took over pacing duties and was having a good effort through the mile mark in about 4:31. I feared that he might be out too fast, but that's my usual fear. Halfway through the race he had created a pretty good gap back to the pair of chasers and appeared to be comfortable enough for the pace he was running. He came through 2 miles in approximately 9:15 and still looked good and his lead had grown. From there he had a solid 4:52 last mile. Overall a very nice way to start the season. When we discussed the race Kamari said that he really hadn't paid attention to splits, he was just trying to give a hard effort to the entire race. Our hope is that this is a great start to a great season for Kamari and also for the teams."
Sully Shelton of Harrison took runner-up honors at 14:51
Sully Shelton of Harrison hustled in taking second overall going 14:51, followed by Collin Jones of Carrollton who will be a contender at 6A state, placing 3rd at 15:00. There was a good battle coming down the stretch with Andrew McGinnis from GAPPS school Calvary Christian (Columbus) coming out fourth in 15:08, Miguel Schlicht of Norcross 5th at 15:10 and James May from Marietta 6th at 15:12. Marietta had an outstanding team average of 15:14, holding off now 7A Harrison by a single point. Shelton led Harrison in his first race of the season taking 2nd with Noah Connelly placing 8th at 15:20. Norcross had the 3rd fastest team of the meet taking 3rd led by Schlict's 5th place effort and St. Pius X was fourth team-wise with Ryan Boyle taking 10th.
Collin Jones from Carrollton was third overall in 15:00
Patrick Motes of Rome won race 10 clocking a 15:18. Just behind is Adam Wade of Blessed Trinity who led the Titans team win in the race.
Blessed Trinity dominated in the first race of the morning scoring 42 points with a swift 15:47 team average which gave them the fifth-fastest squad of the day. Adam Wade came on strong taking over second place going 15:20. The Titans ran well as a team with their top five in the first 16 spots. Ron Miller placed 9th leading the incoming pack posting a 15:49. Patrick Motes from Rome had a great race taking the overall win in 15:18.
The lead pack in race ten runs thru the misty morn'
Katherine Law, Hannah Miniutti, and Kelly Ann Sutterfield lead in race 11.
It would have been interesting to see how Blessed Trinity's girls would have done in race 13. But, the Lady Titans competed in race 11 and made short work of the field scoring 19 points with their top 7 finishing in the first 11 spots (1-2-4-5-6) with a team average of 18:08 and 1-5 split of :53 which would have put them over the top in race 13. Hannah Miniutti won a hard-fought race turning in a 17:38. besting Katherine Law of Jefferson who was runner-up going 17:41. Kelly Ann Sutterfield of Blessed Trinity placed 3rd at 18:00, followed by team-mates Katie Hamfeldt at 18:07 and Nicole Chastain 18:23.
Hannah Miniutti beats Katherine Law to the finish line.
Starrs Mill took second as a team led by the 9th place finish of Senior Darby Olive posting a 19:08. 4A Jefferson raced to third as a team led by Law's 2nd place finish and Caitlin Schroeder's 7th place effort of 18:41.
Mary Brady of St. Pius X leads Oconee sophomore Jenna Champer early in the race.
There was a nice team battle going on upfront in race 13 as last year's 4A champ (now 5A) St. Pius X came out on top of 7A Marietta by 13 points. The Golden Lions had three runners finish in the top seven positions, including individual race champ Senior Mary Brady who clocked the fastest time of the meet at 17:38.21. Hannah Schemmel placed 3rd at 17:53 and Catherine Breault 7th in 18:16. St. Pius had a team average of 18:33. Marietta had 2 runners finish in the top 10 including Betsy Gordon in 8th place at 18:17 and Hattie Rydinski 10th overall in 18:42.
Riley Perlakowski of Harrison placed 2nd overall in race 13 at 17:47.