Wingfoot XC Classic Championship Varsity Boys Race Preview
ATLANTA – September 21, 2016 – This weekend 72 high school teams will converge on Cartersville, Georgia, for the second annual Wingfoot XC Classic. Atlanta Track Club selected 21 boys teams to compete in the Championship Varsity Division. You can find the team selections here.We will see six out of the top 10 All-Class Georgia teams competing this weekend including last year’s champions, the Milton Eagles. It won’t be a runaway as there are several teams looking to dethrone the Eagles for the Wingfoot title. Georgia teams hoping to take a top three spot are Lambert, East Jackson, Alexander, Blessed Trinity and South Forsyth.Alexander High SchoolThe Cougars are led by an undefeated Braedan Collins, fresh off of individual victories in the 6A division at Carrollton Ortho Invitational, Bob Blastow, and Douglas County. Alexander has had dominating team performances on a few courses, winning the team title at Bob Blastow Early Bird, the Douglas County Championships and the Carrollton Ortho Invite. Their tight pack of Whorton, Muse, Taylor and Williams is a force to be reckoned with.East Jackson High SchoolEast Jackson is led by star Chase Kennedy, who currently holds the #1 5K time in Georgia and the #2 time in the nation at 14:57. Chase will be chasing the overall title followed closely by twin Chandler Kennedy and their 3-5 not too far behind. Their top three could carry them to a top five finish, but it would require a strong performance from Etheridge and Perez.Chase Kennedy, East JacksonLambert High SchoolWith no star lead runner, Lambert runs a tight pack 1-5 with less than a minute spread at the past several meets. It has proven fruitful this season with a victory at the Berry College Clara Bowl as well as runner-up performances to Marist at the Battle of Atlanta and Warpath invitational. Lambert’s tight pack could break up any team who is spread too thin.Milton High SchoolWith victories at Atlanta Classic, Bob Blastow and Fulton County, the Milton Eagles are coming into Wingfoot with a lot of momentum. The team is led by junior Sam Bowers, who had a breakout race at last year’s Wingfoot XC Classic, finishing third. Milton has a strong 1-2 punch of Bowers and Malkowski, but could be defeated by a large gap from 3-4.Milton Boys at the 2015 Wingfoot XC ClassicPope High SchoolThe Greyhounds are coming into Wingfoot with momentum and a rest week coming out of the Cobb County Championships with the overall title. The boys won with a 16:47 average, defeating Marietta High School by one point. Pope runs a tight pack with a 36-second spread from 1-5. This type of pack racing can be tough to beat. The crew is led by Jacob Brenneman, whose season best is 16:22. Look to see a tight pack of hounds along the course this weekend.Watch ListSouth Forsyth, Blessed Trinity, Cambridge, Marietta, Clarkston, Alpharetta, JeffersonIndividual RaceThe individual race is sure to be a barn burner. Last year’s champion, Jack Bluth of Milton, out-sprinted 4A State Champion Frank Pittman in the final 25 meters for a memorable finish. Both have graduated, opening the door to a new champion. Seeking the title is East Jackson’s Chase Kennedy, who currently holds the nation’s second fastest 5K time (14:57), which he achieved just three weeks ago at the Eagle Invitational before taking the overall title at Warpath last week with a 15:28 finish. Kennedy placed seventh last year behind Bowers of Milton, who comes into the race ready for a title win after blazing races at Bob Blastow, Atlanta Classic, and Fulton County. Also in the hunt will be Darr Smith of Johnson Ferry Christian Academy. New to GHSA competition, Darr has come in strong with a victory at the Panther Invitational and a fourth place finish in last year’s Wingfoot Community Race behind Atlanta Track Club Elite team members. Alex Mortimer, who is traveling to Wingfoot from Tates Creek in Kentucky, may take the crown home with him. With a season best at 15:40, Mortimer has a shot to take a top three spot. Also looking to get into the top five will be Hayden Tullos of Marietta, who opened his season at the Cobb County Championships winning in a time of 15:47. Others who should be seen in the top 10 are Chase Condra (Peachtree Ridge), Adan Rodriguez (Dalton) Wilson Moore (Chapel Hill), Braedan Collins (Alexander), Jacob Preston (Dawson County), and Chandler Kennedy (East Jackson). Darr Smith, Johnson Ferry Christian AcademyThe Wingfoot XC Classic takes place this Saturday, September 24 at Sam Smith Park in Cartersville.About Atlanta Track ClubAtlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 26,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Georgia Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.