Wingfoot XC Classic Middle School Race Preview
ATLANTA – September 20, 2016 – This weekend 35 middle school cross country teams will go head to head in Cartersville at the second annual Wingfoot XC Classic. Last year’s races were some of the largest and most competitive in the state, and this year will be no different. Due to course modifications, this year’s middle school race will be a 3K race.Boys PreviewThe reigning champions, Great Strides of Cumming, Georgia, will return to defend their title. Great Strides started off the season with a team victory at the Pickens Preview and followed that up with a win last week at the Warpath Invitational. Looking to take away the title is Alpha Crush Running Club, who defeated Great Strides at the Covered Bridge Run earlier this season. Last year’s runner-up, Woodland Middle Euharlee, has had a solid start to their season and should also be in the hunt for a podium finish.In the individual boys race, expect to see Landmark Christian’s Zack Truitt leading the charge. The current 8th grade record holder in the 2 mile who recently ran a 9:54 3K at the Panther Invite will be the runner to beat. Close behind are Sully Shelton of the Junior Hoyas and Elijah McCauley of Paideia.Zack Truitt, Landmark ChristianGirls PreviewDefending champions Great Strides will have their work cut out for them this year with many teams stepping it up. Woodland Middle, Alpha Crush, East Jackson and the Paideia Pythons all look poised to strike and take them down. Woodland comes in having defeated Great Strides at the Pickens Preview and also having been victorious at their home meet. Woodland will have the home field advantage as the course is only 10 minutes away from their school. Alpha Crush defeated Great Strides at the Covered Bridge Run earlier this year as well. It should be a tight race, and these squads will be sure to have their sights set on a team trophy.Carmen Alder, 2015 Wingfoot XC Classic Middle School ChampionThe individual girls race will see 2015 champion Carmen Alder take to the course to defend her title. Carmen is running unattached, as she did last year when she defeated Nyah Hernandez, who was favored to win. Carmen will be faced by East Jackson’s Jewlee Love, who posted an 11:35 3K time earlier this year at the fast Lamar Murphy course. Behind them are Alexa Hoppenfield of Alpha Crush and Maggie Jones of Landmark Christian. Look for these girls to take the lead early on and fight for the title.Teams:Alpha Crush Running ClubBlessed TrinityCartersville MSCentennialCherokee Junior WarriorsDeKalb TrailblazersEast Jackson High SchoolExcel ChristianGreat StridesInman MSJohnson Ferry Christian AcademyJunior HoyasJunior Jackets Cross CountryJunior WarriorsJunior WolverinesLandmark Christian SchoolLassiter High SchoolLovettMount Bethel ChristianNashville Youth AthleticsNorth Atlanta ChristianOLAPace AcademyPaideiaRenfroe MSRockmartSaint Mary's Catholic SchoolSt. Benedict’s Episcopal SchoolStarrs Mill High SchoolWalton Youth Track ClubWest Cobb StampedeWhite Co. Middle SchoolWoodland Middle EuharleeWoodstock MSThe 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.