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