Great Day Of Racing Held At North Georgia Championships

Middle School girls joust for positions on the first downhill.

(all photos by Alex Brust)

Varsity Boys

Andrew Jones from North Hall and Ethan Ashley of Denmark begin loop 2. 

The morning began with the varsity boys race one kicking off the 6th year of the North Georgia Cross Country Championships. Meet Director, Coach Tomy Sitton commented, " The North Georgia Championships was a huge success today.I want to thank all those who made the meet go so well. We started 15 races from 7:45 to 12:50. Hopefully, today was a great experience for both the spectators and runners. Thanks to Karl and Bruce who did a great job of timing today. One interesting point about this year, we utilized three softball fields and two soccer fields to spread out the teams to set up to encourage social distancing. It was a great feeling to see the runner's race today. We look forward to the next meet we host on September 12 (Eagle Invitational). As a coach who has run off many meets over thirty-six years, it does not get old to put on a good meet."

Andrew Jones of North Hall heads to the finish taking the overall title.

Andrew Jones of North Hall made it 2 straight wins in 2020 after taking the checkered flag at North Georgia. Let it not be soon forgotten, that Jones and Justin Wachtel both went sub 9: in a time trial recorded on video the first week of May. In the final maile, Jones hit the afterburners and sped away from Denmark's Ethan Ashley posting the fastest time of the meet at 15:43. Ashley hung tough though, cranking out a swift time of 15:50 leading the Great Danes to a 4th place team finish. 

Sebastian Rodriguez of Archer was third overall. 

It was a 7A battle of the bigs that decided the team title in varsity boys race one. Archer had a great race taking the top spot led by Sebastian Rodriguez who clocked a time of 16:30. South Forsyth claimed second as a team followed by North Gwinnett. 3A school Hart County pushed it to the brink taking 5th, led by the duo of Matthew Brown taking 6th at 16:37, followed by Diego Martinez going 16:48. 

Miguel Schlicht of Norcross won varsity boys race 2.

Norcross had another great race this Saturday, as the Blue Demons placed 5 runners in the top eight spots en route to dominating varsity boys race two, including having the fastest team average of the meet at 17:06. Senior, Miguel Schlicht cruised in down the stretch taking the win at 16:14. This squad is definitely a contender to take the 7A title with their top 5 all experienced seniors! 

Buck Ledford of 2A Banks County placed second overall in race two. 

Banks County lost some top runners, but Junior, Buck Ledford has raised his game big-time, proven by his 2nd place finish behind Schlicht in varsity boys race two clocking a 16:40. Banks also had some freshmen race very well, including Chase Stephens and Pepper Davis. 

Andrew Kivett and Brian Gaddy duel thru the first mile of varsity boys race three.

In varsity boys race three, Andrew Kivett from Habersham Central had a strong race easily taking the overall win posting a solid 17:03 on the Lamar Murphy Park layout. Brian Gaddy led Winder-Barrow to the team win in race 3 going 17:51

Varsity Girls

Varsity Girls A harriers crest the first hill at Lamar Murphy Park led by Cara Joyce of AIS. 

The varsity girls A' race was not without its fair share of drama. Cara Joyce of Atlanta International took the lead early thru loop one. But, somewhere on the backside, battle-tested Senior, Caylee Wagner from North Hall took the lead and never looked back as Wagner took the individual win going 19:26. 

Caylee Wagner of North Hall churned her way to the individual title in varsity girls' race one.

Coach Sam Borg of North Hall was asked about the meet in general and the performance of his top 2 harriers, "Coach Tomy Sitton and the East Jackson staff did a great job of hosting everyone today. Team tents were spaced out among 3 fields and there was no awards ceremony to keep from congregating large crowds. We are proud of Andrew Jones (15:44) and Caylee Wagner (19:24) for their wins again today, they are both leading our team well and should be in the conversation when 3A state gets here in November."

Carmel Yonas led South Forsyth to the overall team title. 

7A South Forsyth had too many horses in the field in varsity girls race one, placing 2 gals in the top 5, including sisters, Sophomore, Carmel Yonas taking 3rd overall at 19:51 and freshman Isabel Yonas 5th overall at 20:38. North Gwinnett took 2nd as a team followed by North Hall. 

Brooke Browning and Ellie Hall went 1-2 for Hebron in varsity girls race two. 

Hebron Christian girls are loaded for Bear when it comes down to A Private. They have 2 legitimate front-runners in Brooke Browning and Ellie Brewer. They finished second as a team behind a very deep 7A Norcross squad. Browning took the win at 19:24 and XC newbie Brewer was impressive going 19:42. 

Middle School Boys

Thomas Latham of Run Hero to Zero dominated the boy's race.

Thomas Latham of 'Run Hero to Zero' absolutely destroyed the field in the middle school boys 'championship race' Latham never showed any signs of fatigue, and after crossing the finish mats was not winded at all. Latham crossed the mats at 10:53, a full minute better than the next finisher... 

Ben Winn of Great Strides was second overall in the MS boys race leading Great Strides Club to the team win. 
Middle School Girls

Jessie Dubnik of North Hall raced to the MS girls individual title. 

Jessie Dubnik turned the tables this weekend, as the North Hall MS ace held on down the stretch taking the overall win in the middle school girls race one clocking a time of 12:39. 

Clodaugh O'Bryant of North Hall took runner-up honors. 

Amelia Ogden of Great Strides placed 3rd overall. Leading Great Strides to the team win.