Prep Cross Country: Northgate boys, Newnan girls win Daley Invitational
From Staff Reports
Northgate’s boys and Newnan’s girls took early bragging rights among Coweta’s varsity cross-country teams during Saturday’s second annual Coach Daley Invitational at Northgate.
Using the same course as last year’s county championships, the meet equally took on a feel of a preview of this season’s upcoming Coweta Cup run, also at Northgate, on Oct. 22.
The Vikings earned a 20-point victory over rivals East Coweta and Newnan by using its depth to its advantage. Led by junior Josh Oller’s second-place finish, Northgate’s boys placed all five scorers among the top-10, each of which in an even-numbered finish.
Northgate finished with 30 points ahead of Newnan and East Coweta, each of which finished with 50.
“Our guys did everything I asked them to do,” said Northgate head coach Chris Kimes, who bragged on his No. 1 runner, Oller. “This is only his second year and it made it up to the varsity-seven. I haven’t looked it up yet, but I’m sure his time was a personal best.”
Oller finished in 18:36 behind race-winner Matthew Miller of Newnan. The Cougar sophomore dominated from start-to-finish in 18:11 while looking much like a potential frontrunner for this year’s County Cup race.
(To view photos from Saturday's boys race, visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports / Cross Country for the Photo Gallery.)
The Lady Cougars followed the same pattern as Northgate’s boys while looking to also repeat as this year’s team champions at the Coweta Cup. With sophomores Elizabeth Westerfield, in second, and Anna Haydon, in fourth, leading the way for Newnan, the team packed its runners together between the 22 and 24-minute mark to pull out a 31-34 win over host Northgate.
Lady Vikings junior standout Hailey Gollnick, however, was all by herself while taking individual honors. The two-time county champion crossed in 20:16, more than a minute ahead of Westerfield’s mark of 21:51. Northgate’s average time was five seconds better than Newnan’s, but the Lady Cougars top-five runners grouped better among split times.
After Haydon crossed in fourth place in 22:03, Newnan had four finishes grouped between eighth and 12th-place to cap off the scoring. Finishers included junior Hannah Hudson (8th, 22:18), Maya Sherman (9th, 22:25), Gabby Freeman (11th, 23:03) and Ally Thomas (12th, 23:36).
East Coweta produced third-place finishers individually in both varsity races. Track standout Darian Pugh led the Lady Indians in 22:00 while Courtlin Burke led the boys in 18:47. Senior Austin Freeman placed fifth in 18:50.
Northgate’s boys scorers had freshman Spencer Ramthun placing fourth behind Burke in 18:44 while junior teammate Evan Vatave (18:55) was sixth. Lee Green (8th, 19:07) and Kaleb Rainey (10th, 19.17) completed the Viking scoring.
The Vikings’ junior-varsity runners earned equal praise from Kimes in a dominating effort that was led by sophomore Harrison Griffiths (20:04) and freshman Andrew Lail (20:05). Jaelin Rainey (20:37), Max Lasater (20:43) and Robert Cunningham (20:44) crossed within mere seconds between fourth and sixth place as Northgate had six of the top seven finishers.
In junior varsity girls action, the Lady Cougars won the event by placing four runners in the top five led by veteran runner Gaby Busby in 24:06. Hannah Thomas (24:29) was third followed by Lindley Hudson (24:32) in fourth, and Emily Sealy (25:18) in fifth.