Saturday, August 22 marked the first official meet for the NC Warrior Cross Country season. The Big Peach Ekiden, located at Allatoona Creek Park, tested the entire Cross Country team through two JV races and one varsity ekiden.
The varsity ekiden functioned like an Olympic-style relay, with eight boys and eight girls splitting into teams of two and running two miles before handing off a snap bracelet to the next two team members.
Senior Caleb Griffin led the varsity boys timewise, running two miles in 10 minutes and 28 seconds. Senior Stephan Gardner and sophomore Anthony Graham followed with two-mile times under 11 minutes.
For varsity girls, freshman Lindsey O’Neill and sophomore Abby Jeske led the way with two miles in 13:21 and 13:22, respectively. The varsity girls all ran their two miles in under 16 minutes.
Both junior varsity boys and girls ran a shortened two mile race, securing top spots for NC. Sophomore Matthew Terrill headed up the boys’ team with a time of 11:21, followed shortly thereafter by sophomore Michael Sigler with a time of 11:55. The top girls included seniors Makayla Johnson and Krishna Oza, with two-mile times of 15:14 and 15:15, respectively.
The top three varsity teams received awards; the winners included Etowah High School, Milton High School, and Roswell High School. While NC did not place in awards for the varsity relay, the times showed significant improvement for each team member since the time trial two weeks ago.
Head Coach Sarah Bowling reflected on the race and the team’s results afterwards: “We had great racing today, Warriors. I hope everyone enjoy’s comparing today’s times to last week’s as much as I did and seeing that improvement. I know each week will have us more and more prepared to take on the competition at Region and race a fast 5K to win.”