Season and weekend outlook!

Just to let you know that the Cross Country season gets started in earnest this weekend - yes August 27 (!) with at least 4 invitationals. Most of the major programs will be in action. Temperatures have been in the mid-90\'s with heat indices over 100 but thankfully, it\'s supposed to cool off to the low 80\'s by the weekend (slightly better :-).

Expectations for the season:

Parkview boys (returns 4 of 7) and Collins Hill girls (returns 5 of the top 6) start where they left off last season, on the top of the heap. Other top teams for the state include:

AAAAA boys Brookwood, McEachern, Walton, and Collins Hill
AAAAA girls Walton, Kennesaw Mountain, Pope, and Peachtree Ridge
AAAA girls can anyone unseat Marist? It may be the year with Heritage and McIntosh fielding strong teams
AAAA boys Marist, Chapel Hill, Greenbrier and Alexander among others look to duke it out
AAA girls and boys Westminster, Westminster, Westminster - every year, we wonder if anyone has what it takes to unseat the too-many-times-to-count-defending champions but they seem to have the same attitude about championships that Charlton Heston has about his gun \"from my cold, dead hand\". Oconee County thinks they have a shot this year on the boys side but we\'ll see . . .

AA Private schools dominate AA with Lovett boys and Pace Academy girls defending against Wesleyan and GACS. Grady is likely the lone public school in the top 5

A Again, private schools crowd the smaller classes with Landmark sweeping both titles last year over Athens Academy, Athens Christian, and Our Lady of Mercy

Top individuals in the state are Ben Hubers of McEachern on the boys side and Emily Reese of Chamblee on the girls side but the girls have tremendous young talent when you throw in Emily Borsare of McIntosh, Jackie Drouin of Collins Hill, and Leila Norman of Walton all having broken 11 on the track last spring.

The meets this weekend include:

Walton Stage Races probably the largest meet of the weekend takes place at Gainesville College in Oakwood. Last year, 41 schools competed in the 10 stages (5 varsity and 5 JV) with boys and girls competing against their numbered counterparts from other schools over the series of two mile races. Expected teams include Collins Hill, the boys and girls
defending meet champions; Parkview, defending AAAAA boys state champions; Marist, defending AAAA boys and girls state champions; Walton; McEachern,
Harrison; and Kennesaw Mountain.

Jaguar Invitationa-about 20 teams are expected
Alexander Early Bird -another 20 teams here including AAAAA power Brookwood and AAAA power Alexander
Our Lady of Mercy-about 20 schools including many top private school programs along with Chapel Hill from AAAA