Highlights From North Oconee Home Meet

This North Oconee home meet held the past few years on the first Thursday of September has been a popular stop for northeast Georgia squads looking for good competition and the Labor Day weekend off. 22 high schools and 10 middle schools endured the heat and raced until dusk. New head coach, Charlie Sparks was the meet director this season, but former coach Ralph Moore was on his mountain bike pacing every race!  Also, no yellow jackets' nests were stirred up this meet. Below are many highlights from the meet in pics. 

Coach Sparks had these post-race comments about the meet, "the work of hosting this meet was me and Heather Grace, the girls head coach. Couldn't have done it without her... I feel the races went really well, athletes and coaches kept their distance when they could and obeyed all the rules set in place by the GHSA. We were able to have very competitive races and keep distance while doing so." 

Speaking about the modified starts and the fans, "Overall, the wave starts were great. Allowing for all athletes and teams to compete without having to worry about too many people on the course or in the starting area at a time. Karl with Fast Feet Timing did an amazing job of getting results out quickly and correcting even with merging the middle school and JV races together.

The fans were amazing! They respected all the boundaries set in place and encouraged all the athletes the entire time. They were able to see the start, finish, and a few areas around the course as well." 

And, finally on the racing, "The racing was fantastic. We brought in some really good local teams in Jefferson and Oconee County, as well as 4A boys powerhouse Chestatee, Loganville, and Gainesville. On the girls' side, the top four teams were separated by only 7 points!"

(all photos by Alex Brust)

Luke Gaddis of Chestatee took over the race after Mile One and had the fastest time of the meet clocking a 15:53. The War Eagles also took home the top team hardware, placing 4 harriers in the top ten spots.

Brandon Martin of Commerce is the defending Champ in A Public and he proved it at the Oconee Community cross country course posting a 16:20.

Jack Stansell led Oconee County to a runner-up team finish placing third overall at 16:36.

Andrew Kivett of Habersham Central won his second race in 6 days winning varsity boys race 2 in a time of 17:10.

Katherine Law led Jefferson HS to the girls' team title as she claimed the overall win as well going 19:43. The Lady Dragons 5th runner, Sydney Bowles was key, besting her Oconee County counterpart by eight spots. 

Freshman, Ava Caldwell of North Oconee had a great race on her home course placing second overall at 20:19 leading the Titans to a third-place as a team five points behind Oconee County.

Sydney Matthews of Oconee County was one of three Warriors finishing in the top 9 spots, placing 5th overall at 20:35, pushing Oconee to just a point shy of team champ Jefferson.

Myles Byrd of Loganville was the fastest middle school male of the day at 10:36.

Tyler Boyett of Youth MS had the second-fastest time of the meet posting a 10:53.

In a photo-finish, Nicholas Ryan of Malcom Bridge edges out Aaron Brodrick of Oconee MS taking 3rd overall in 10:54. The Lightning' had four runners in the top 10 taking the team title by 29 points over Jefferson MS who won a 6th runner tiebreaker over Oconee MS. 

Azalea Snell of Loganville Christian won her second race of the fall, having the fastest girls middle school time of the meet clocking an 11:30.

Camdyn Byrd of Loganville MS had a great race just like her brother, posting the second-fastest middle school girl's time of the day at 12:29. 

Josie Nix led the Malcom Bridge girls squad to the team win placing 4th overall at 12:54.