Wachtel & Miller Go 4,5 at RunningLane XC, St. Pius Gals 2nd

Golf cart cam video of boys race.

full boys summary on MileSplit.com

Miller with a comfortable lead early

It was definitely the craziest, fastest race of the season in Huntsville, Alabama this past Saturday as a total of 32 boys broke 15 minutes for 5,000 meters. Georgia's best were in the thick of it as Kamari Miller led through the first 2 miles, at times having a lead of up to 25 meters. Miller ended up settling for 5th overall posting a PR of 14:37.19.

Marietta Boys placed 9th as a team

Coach Coleman commented about the race, "Kamari had a great race leading for 2 miles and still with a chance to win @ 800 meters to go.  I was happy to see him go for the win and give his best in his last HS XC race.  The team finished as expected and most of our guys dropped some time off their PRs thanks to a fast course and fast field of teams.  It was a good effort to see our team finish with.  

Justin Wachtel (c) had a strong finish placing 4th at 14:36.09

Justin Wachtel continued to shatter records! Justin finished 4th at the RunningLane Cross Country National Championships at RunningLane XC. His 14:36.09 is a new high school 5k record in the state of Georgia. Wachtel commented about his race, "The race quickly became a championship-style race early on. Kamari forced the pace early and set the tone for the whole race. The front pack remained balled together until around a mile to go when Parker tried to close the gap. I felt like most guys in the main pack were just dialing in and waiting for the last mile to make the big moves. There was a long 175m hill after the 2-mile mark, so once we crested the top of it, the race really started to pick up. My race plan was to sit and chill the first two miles then start hammering over the last 1200m once we got up the hill. I was a lot further back than I would've liked to have been at the top of the hill. I was in about 12th-15th place maybe, so I had a lot of work to do over the last bit of the course. I executed my plan well, and I was able to get myself all the way up to 4th place by the line. I started kicking really hard at about 600m, so I was feeling it down the home stretch. I was really happy with the kick because it means a lot to out-close a lot of guys at this caliber. My training was really focused on having a strong peak for nationals this year and avoid burn out early, as I had a weak performance at Footlocker Nationals a year ago. It really feels good to have it come together and have a solid performance when I really needed it on the big stage at a national class race. I feel like I underperformed at times throughout the regular season so this was a great way to cap off my season." Several other Georgia harriers had big PRs at the meet including Sully Shelton of Harrison (18th- 14:48), Zack Truitt of Landmark Christian (36th- 15:02), and Edward Blaha of Pace Academy (39th-15:03)."

Coach Christie with his top 2 runners.

Ethan Nordman of Mill Creek breaks the school record with a 15:22 at the Running Lane Championships, a 19 second PR. The previous record was 15:30 by Sam Costa. In his last HS XC race, Aidan Van Derhei gets on the record board with a 16:05, a 15 second PR

Mary Brady of St. Pius X placed 11th at 17:34

On the girl's side, the racing was also fast and furious. Jenna Hutchins of Science Hill (TN) ran wild going sub 16 recording a record-breaking time of 15:58.42  Georgia was strongly represented in the team race as St. Pius X bested some nationally-ranked squads placing 2nd with 86 points. True to form all season, mary Brady led the way finishing 11th in 17:34, with Hannah Schemmel taking 17th overall in 17:53. Coach McClay had this to add, "Our girls placed 2nd to Mountain Vista (13th ranked nationally) and beat out a couple of other really good teams like Bolles, Brentwood, and Niwot. Although I am not sure Niwot had a full squad. Either way, running that close to such a good team was quite an accomplishment for the girls. Really this was just about going on a PR chase. Sure, Mary and Hannah both wanted to get All-American honors by placing in the top 20, which they did, but mostly they were all there to chase PR's. I told them there was no pressure, they had nothing left to prove this year. I told them to go out and have fun, and it looks like that's exactly what they did. Mary and Hannah were up in position early. Both of them seemed to struggle a little bit the 2nd mile, but bounced back well in the 3rd mile and just weren't going to be denied. Catherine and Grace both started farther back and moved up really well, Catherine especially just looked really strong. And Cala just ran one final race with the goal of being the 5th runner when they set a school record for team average (they came up less than one second short of that goal). Jessica got to run in place of our 7th which was cool and she got a new PR. And Elizabeth unfortunately just didn't have it because of her injury after Asics, but I'm so proud of the role she played on this team this season, she was a big part of our success. Overall I am so impressed with their resolve this year. We have had so many obstacles to overcome. So when they ran so well at state and then followed it up with likely an even better performance yesterday, that was a fun two weeks to end the season. Those girls are pretty incredible."

Georgia Elite Youth (an actual Club team, including some home-schoolers) ran great taking 3rd place as a team. Claire Shelton of Dunwoody led the attack for them placing 37th at 18:15, with Susannah Heinz of Augusta Eagles a couple of strides back in 18:17.