Prep CC: Gollnick, Northgate stay the courseFrom STAFF REPORTS
Alone, with nary a challenger within a hundred yards or more, Northgate junior Hailey Gollnick kicked to the finish line first at Saturday’s Pike County Invitational.
An easy winner in 20:23, Gollnick continued to look like a veteran runner with her focus set on the upcoming Region 4-AAAAA Championship meet while helping lead the Lady Vikings to a team title — one of three won by Northgate teams in the Pike County meet on a challenging course.
The veteran of a young Lady Vikings lineup, Gollnick now leads her team into next Saturday’s Coweta County Championships where the junior will be an overwhelming favorite to earn her third-consecutive girls crown. A more natural course at Pike County provide many of the challenges, if not more, than what the state course at Carrollton will bring come early November.
“Hailey thought it was probably tougher than Carrollton,” Kimes said. “It’s a single-circuit course. It’s got tight twists."
Northgate’s scorers on Saturday also included sophomore Caitlin Bellora, who took fourth in 21:16, along with freshmen Erica Lee (5th, 22:34), Taylor Lee (7th, 23:16) and Abbie Coe (10th, 23:58). Seniors Amanda Yee and Yasmin Gee placed 12th and 13th individually. The Lady Vikings’ 19 points were well ahead of second-place Upson-Lee’s 66.
“I’m enthusiastic about the girls,” Kimes said, while watching the Vikings place third among four teams in a balanced effort. The Vikings’ scorers all came in between the 19 and 20-minute marks led by juniors Evan Vatave (8th, 19:12) and Josh Oliver (9th, 19:19). Lee Green (14th, 19:47), Kaleb Rainey (15th, 19:48) and Ameer Tabbaa (16th, 19:55) also scored.
“The guys are running well together,” added Kimes. “We’re just not that fast yet.”
Northgate’s junior-varsity teams both finished first. The Lady Vikings had the top-five finishers for a perfect score led by an impressive run by eighth-grader Elise Glovigen (23:23).
Freshman Kaia Kirk, sophomore Kalina Vatave and juniors Abby Pinaud and Madeline McDonald rounded out the top five.
Freshman Spencer Ramthun led the JV boys in 19:44 to earn a spot among the varsity at the county meet. Eighth-graders Sherman Dewey and Jaelin Rainey placed fourth and sixth, while Jaelin Rainey and Ian Sebastian took seventh and eighth to complete the scoring.