JEFFERSON -- Conditions were less then ideal but performances were stellar Friday at the Georgia Olympics 3,200 finals.
A heavy rain ripped across Jefferson's Memorial Stadium just as the 3,200 finals got underway, though the weather couldn't stop a number of area runners from grabbing medals -- and it certainly didn't hamper the sprint preliminaries that took place during the day.
Commerce's Nahum Mendoza and Dominik Lageder were the first northeast Georgia athletes to make the two-mile trek around the track and did so in impressive fashion. Both runnersmade the podium, as Mendoza placed fourth with a time of 11:03.84 and Lageder placed eighth with a time of 12:10.54. With the fourth and eighth place finishes Commerce added six points to its team score for a two-day total of 20. With one-day left Commerce sits in fourth place.
In Class AA Riverside Military's Marcus Gouthro and Alexie Joya put together admirable performances, finishing fifth and 10th respectively, with Gouthro claiming four points for his team with a time of 10:27.52. Meanwhile, Jefferson's Addison Cochran kept an incredible pace throughout the race to finish seventh and earn his team two points. After two days of action Jefferson is among the top of the board in second place with 34 points, Rabun County has 12 points in ninth place and Riverside Military is in 12th place with nine points. Westminster School leads Class AA with 51.50 points.
Perhaps the most anticipated 3,200 came in Class AAA, where North Hall -- which entered the race having won four of the last five events -- hoped to dethrone defending state champ Austin Sprague from St. Pius to reclaim the title.
Despite spectacular efforts by Trojans' distance specialists Zack Hill and Quintin Miles, Sprague held on to produce the second best time of the night across all classifications -- 9:17.30 -- reclaiming the title. Hill set a blistering last lap to claim third place with a time of 9:40.85, earning his team six points, while Miles finished on his teammate's heels, finishing fourth with a time of 9:42.29 for five points.
Dawson County's Dylan Forester also finished seventh, while White County's Austin Thompson would place 10th in the AAA 3,200.
With 30 team points North Hall sits in second place behind St. Pius. North Oconee has 13 points in sixth place, while White County and Buford each have 10 points to round out the top ten.
Gainesville's Juan Ortega, 13th place and Flowery Branch's Nick Ashmead, 11th place both performed honorably in Class AAAAA.
The Georgia Olympics will conclude Saturday morning in Jefferson, featuring 14 different individuals/teams from northeast Georgia.
The following teams/individuals qualified for Saturday's sprint finals (listed by class and event):
Buford 'A', 41.97
Todd Woodring, Jackson County, 48.76
Caleb Stephenson, White County, 49.62
Khalil Anderson, Buford, 50.59
Xavier Gantt, Buford, 10.96
Justin McCray, Buford, 14.97
Dmitry Hunter, East Hall, 15.54
Todd Woodring, Jackson County, 22.27
Justin McCray, Buford, 39.55
Charlie Woerner, Rabun County, 14.87
Dalton Hill, Jefferson, 15.14
Tradd Porter, Jefferson, 2:00.49
Dalton Hill, Jefferson, 39.07
Jefferson 'A', 3:28.25