Graham Blanks runs toward #1 at the GHSA Cross Country Championships. Photo by Enrique Thomas for the Atlanta Track Club.
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the Athens Academy cross country team traveled to Carrollton, GA to compete in the GHSA 1A Private State Cross Country Championships.
After their annual dinner at Olive Garden and a night’s rest at the hotel, both teams awoke at 5 a.m. the next morning to eat breakfast and arrive early at the race course.
Before the boys’ race began at 8 a.m., Coaches Geoffrey Walton and Neville Anderson gave their annual speeches, getting the team excited to compete despite the cold weather. After a cold, windy race, senior Graham Blanks set the course record with a time of 15:33. The boys’ team placed 5th overall, with a total score of 149 points.
The girls began their race at 8:45 a.m., and they were surrounded by coaches and parents to wish them luck at the starting line. The lady Spartans were all very close to one another in the race and managed to win 4th place as a team. Junior Kate Kleiber was the final push to secure 4th place and avoid a tiebreaker with Atlanta International Schools. The girls were recognized for their hard work on the podium, and their overall score was 139.
After a successful race at the Tallulah Falls Area Championship, where both the girls’ and boys’ teams finished 1st, it is safe to say that the Spartans have had a great cross country season, and they are excited to see what next year’s season will hold!