The 4th Annual Apple Hawkins Invitational will feature 27 schools from northeast Georgia and the surrounding area. This year's meet has over 900 athletes registered making it the biggest one yet. Some strong programs are slated to race, including Milton, Archer, North Gwinnett, and Hebron Christian's girls. MileSplit Georgia will be onsite shooting race videos and photos. Meet Director and Apalachee head coach Jennifer Fancher talks about former runner Apple Hawkins and the meet.
Apple Hawkins was an Apalachee High School graduate who was killed by a drunk driver in 2016 on Highway 316. This meet was originally The Wildcat Dash but was renamed after his death to honor him. Apple had such a passion for cross country. He loved his teammates and had such a positive spirit towards competitors as well. Cross country meant so much to him that his legacy still lives on within the team to this day. When word of his news broke his family met with Coach Holmes and they set up the Apple Hawkins Scholarship which is awarded to one senior cross country runner who exhibits a compassionate spirit while contributing athletically to the team.
This meet originally had an open 5k before the cross country meet to raise awareness for MADD but this is the first year we have not done the 5k. The Hawkins family has decided to put together a team to represent Apple's Journey at the virtual MADD race in Atlanta. (If others want to join in the virtual race they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
While Apple is no longer with us, his legacy has produced so many positive things for our program as well as raised a lot of awareness against drunk driving. Apalachee is excited as this meet has grown to almost triple the size of the first year it was hosted. The course has changed some through the years with new additions added to our wooded trail, but we still feel it's a fun course. Course records are 19:05 for females held by Ashley Thompson from Gainesville and 16:04 to Ben Butcher from Dacula.
Below are some of the top runners to look for:
Hayden Marshall of Milton ran the fastest time in history on Milton's very tough course (17:13)
|1||Sebastian Rodriguez||2021||Archer HS||16:30.20|
|2||Andrew Kivett||2021||Habersham Central High School||16:31.30|
|3||Yianni Pothoulakis||2022||North Gwinnett||16:56.09|
|4||Miles Ferguson||2022||Archer HS||16:56.44|
|5||Skylar Taylor||2021||Archer HS||16:57.10|
|6||Brian Gaddy||2022||Winder-Barrow HS||17:11.40|
|7||Christopher Parada-Rubio||2022||Winder-Barrow HS||17:13.10|
|8||Hayden Marshall||2021||Milton High School||17:14.25|
|9||Steven McCartney||2023||Archer HS||17:24.15|
|10||Jack Petkash||2021||Milton High School||17:33.48|
Brooke Browning of Hebron Christian is one of the top girls all-classes.
|1||Brooke Browning||2022||Hebron Christian||19:19.75|
|2||Ellie Brewer||2022||Hebron Christian||19:42.90|
|3||Matilee Rogers||2023||Winder-Barrow HS||20:04.10|
|4||Azalea Snell||2025||Loganville Christian Academy||20:22.12|
|5||Marianna Gazzara||2022||North Gwinnett||20:54.68|
|6||Bella Brick||2023||Flowery Branch||20:55.97|
|7||Emily Cragin||2023||Archer HS||21:07.25|
|8||Lyric Minter||2022||Duluth High School||21:07.29|
|9||Georgia Piper||2022||Hebron Christian||21:09.80|
|10||Paige Sandidge||2024||Archer HS||21:17.79|