Okay, let's all be realistic when it comes down to Class 3A. It's usually about this every year: can anyone beat Westminster? Can anyone push/hang with Westminster? Finally, who will fill out the Team and Top 10 Individual Podium spots other than Westminster
First, the boy's and girls' programs are completely separate from each other and have been to my knowledge dating back into the 20th Century. You might spot them together at maybe four meets. Hey, it works and new trophy cases will need to be built. Coaches Tribble (boys) and Eubanks (girls) are both legends, 'Hall of Famers', and molders of young minds, helping their athletes to succeed in life.
Teams in Contention for Podium Spots:
Coach Joe Tribble (c)
Westminster- The 2020 Cats' have followed the formula concocted by Coach Joe Tribble and executed it to near perfection. In September, they looked vulnerable, but like clockwork, come October at Asics the Cats' were on the prowl again. It's possible they could have 5 runners in the top 10-15 spots at State. Matthew Fernando has been the catalyst all season having a SB time of 15:35.
Oconee County- Hopes were very high for the Warriors mid-season. Perhaps, their deepest and most talented squad since 2005. It's just that beating Westminster can be like climbing the 'ice wall' at Castle Black in Game of Thrones. Jack Stansell is the Warriors 'John Snow' and will be chasing Wachtel and Jones up front. But, their #3 will not be racing Friday.
Dawson County- This squad has a good chance of finishing as a runner-up if OC has a bad day. The Tigers have been slowly building a solid program, beginning on the MS level and things are coming into fruition. Dawson has a tight 1-5 pack at 46.6 led by Sam Hulsey, Luke Hamby and Wiley Dennis.
Cherokee Bluff- The 'Bluff' is right on the edge with region 7-AAA rival Dawson County. They are deeper at 1-6, but that may not be enough to challenge for 3rd place as a team. Kyle Boyd is their top runner with a PR of 16:33
Southeast Bulloch- the Yellow Jackets are "the Darkhorse" squad in Class AAA. They have only come up north once this season running at Asics, but won many meets down in southeast Georgia and have a great front runner in Andrew Jaynes (who may be the best runner in Georgia south of Mary Persons HS), with a SB of 15:31 at Asics.
All other squads will be fighting for the top 10 team bragging rights.
Top Individuals to Watch:
Now, this is a whole nother' ball game going on here for the 3A individual state title. Justin Wachtel of Mary Persons and Andrew Jones of North Hall are friends, running buddies, and fierce competitors. Not to mention, future teammates at UVA next Fall!
Justin Wachtel (Mary Persons)- Foot Locker National Finalist, SB of 15:00 at Asics.
Andrew Jones (North Hall)- future Wahoo team-mate of Wachtel, SB of 14:57 at Asics.
Avery Jaynes (SE Bulloch)- Can he hang with the 'big boys' at State'? SB of 15:31 at Asics.
Matthew Brown (Hart County)- An oft-overlooked harrier from Hart County. SB of 15:31 at Asics.
Matthew Fernando (Westminster)- The Cats' top dog so to speak, SB of 15:35 at Coach Wood.
Jack Stansell (Oconee County)- finished 3rd or better in every race but Carrollton Ortho. SB time of 16:17 at Bob Roller (no Asics or Coach Wood)