Ready. Set. Go!
story and photos
by nick nunn
season commences with nega championships
he Morgan County High School cross country team competed last Saturday at the ninth annual Northeast Georgia (NEGA) Championships at Athens Christian School.
With approximately 40 high schools and 15 middle schools entering between 1,400 and 1,600 runners, the NEGA Championships are one of the largest and most competitive meets in this region of Georgia.
The NEGA Championship was the first meet of the season for the cross country team.
Athletes from Morgan County competed in three of the eight events: the Junior Varsity Boys 3K, the Varsity Girls 5K, and the Varsity Boys 5K.
Five MCHS runners competed in the Varsity Boys 3K race. Senior Job Brown finished the 3-kilometer trek in 11 minutes and 40 seconds. “I have JV kids that absolutely stunned me,” commented Coach Brandon York after the end of the race.
By the time of the girls’ race, the temperature was already on its way to the day’s high of 87, and the varsity girls had to battle against the heat as well as the other runners.
Six girls represented Morgan County in the Varsity Girls 5K. The varsity girls placed well, despite the fact that this was the first meet for some of them. Coach York said that the experience they gained in this first meet will help them to hone their racing strategies for the meets to come. Callie Peace and Yakira Chapman were the first MCHS runners to finish the Varsity Girls 5K. Peace ran the race in 27 minutes flat, Chapman in 27 minutes and 48 seconds.
The MCHS Cross Country team was at its most competitive during their last race of the day, the Varsity Boys 5K. Zach Stone came in 11th overall with a time of 18 minutes and 16 seconds.
Stone was one of the two cross country runners from MCHS who represented Georgia on the National Southeast Conference Cross Country team in Australia last summer.
Gladwin Kreimann, the second runner that represented Georgia in Australia, came in just behind Stone with a time of 18 minutes and 19 seconds.
Two other MCHS runners finished the 5K in less than 20 minutes, Jeremy Craft and Wyatt Howard, who is also currently recovering from an injury.
When asked about his overall impression of the team at the meet, Coach York stated, “All around, I’m very, very pleased.” “We’ve got as much firepower as we’ve ever had.”
Although the 8-AAA is considered one of the toughest triple-A divisions outside of the metro Atlanta area, Coach York feels good about the abilities of his athletes. “We’re miles ahead of where we started out the season last year.”
The team’s next meet, the Bulldog Invitational, will be on Saturday, September 1, in Bogart.
Printed in the August 30, 2012 edition