By R. Alan Richardson
If you happen to drive by the cross-country track on any given afternoon, you will see profusely sweating runners out there in the sweltering above 90 heat. They are working their tails off in preparation for the up-coming season. It ain’t no joke being a cross-country runner. It’s not a sport for the meek, weak, or weary.
That hard work is paying for the runners. Morgan County’s cross-country teams are off and running to a great start to the 2019 season. The varsity, JV, and Middle School teams are competing hard, as was evidenced by the squads at the North Georgia Championship run in Jefferson. Jefferson has always fielded highly successful track and cross-country teams. This mega event hosted 25 teams from the greater North Georgia area. Coach Brian Johnson talked about how important this race is to the team every year. “It’s a great race for both our Middle and High School teams. It’s the biggest race we do before our Region Championship. Not only do we get to compete against teams in our region, but good teams we do not run against during the season. It gives a bigger picture of what the Georgia State Cross-country Championship is like and how to prepare for it.”
Assistant Coach Erin Spinks was enthusiastic about how the Middle School performed saying, “We had a great meet. We are looking forward to taking a strong team to the State Meet in October.” She has good reason for that positivity. MCMS boys placed second overall with three runners placing in the top 20. They were Sam Wingfield-third place, Sam Biersmith-11th place, and Clinton Paine-16th place. The girls took seventh behind a strong performance by Jaden Young who finished in the top 25 overall.
According to Spinks, this coming on the heels of the boys taking first place at last week’s meet at Loganville Christian Academy and the girls grabbing second overall in a strong field.
The varsity teams were highly competitive at Jefferson. Johnson had this to say, “The boys ran well. Will Paschal took a medal for us with an 18:00 flat 5K that landed him in 27th place. The girls also looked strong shaving as much as two minutes off their time per finishing athlete.” Morgan’s JV squad also ran strong. “They continue to keep the heat on our varsity crew,” said Johnson.
According to Johnson, the Middle School team stole the show for Morgan. The boys finished second by taking second place overall. A stellar run by Wingfield with the third place finish set the tone as the boys took the field and never looked back.
Any way you slice it, the Dogs and Lady Dogs are making a pretty strong statement early on that they will be a team to contend with when it comes to playoff action. Good luck to all the coaches and runners.