For years Chris Carter has watched high school and college football games feature a “Black Out” or a “Red Out” to support their team.
Carter always wondered if it would work for his sport — cross country. More specifically to draw attention for a good cause.
Carter will find out on Saturday at the Gwinnett County Cross Country Championships. Brookwood will do a “Gold Out” to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Amanda Riley Day, the late Brookwood student who died in 2010 from cancer.
“I went to a Georgia game when they had a “Black Out” and I’ve seen teams do a ‘White Out,’” Carter said. “I wondered if we could do that and cover River Green in gold.”
Carter initially had the idea and gained confidence to set up the “Gold Out” when Amanda’s mother Barbara contacted him about doing it. Gold is the official color of childhood cancer.
Carter notified other schools in the county about the “Gold Out” and has received support from other schools like Grayson and Hebron Christian Academy, which feature gold in their school colors.
“Amanda was a very big Christian. She was very set in her faith. She was super involved in her church,” Hebron assistant coach Mike Beaudreau said. “It should be a cool event and not just your average run.”
Riley ran cross country and track her first two years of high school and played basketball. She was named freshman MVP in cross country. After her 405 day battle with cancer, her parents set up the Amanda Riley Foundation to support children and the families of children battling cancer. Donations to the charity can be made online at www.amandarileyfoundation.org.
Fans going to the county championship are encouraged to wear gold to the race as well.
“I’m hoping it will be a sea of gold out there,” Carter said.
Brookwood girls, Mill Creek boys defend title
The Brookwood girls are the two-time defending county champions, but a three-peat won’t be easy. The Broncos will face some stiff competition as they try to win their fourth title in five years.
“I think there will be a couple of teams in it,” Brookwood coach Chris Carter said. “Peachtree Ridge is obviously good. Collins Hill is on the way up. Wesleyan, I think, is overlooked. Mill Creek is under the radar. I think there are several teams that can make a run for it.”
Peachtree Ridge edged out defending state champion Brookwood at last week’s Carrollton Invitational, giving the Lions some hope to win their first county title.
“Anything can happen. It’s a completely different course. Carrollton is hilly, this one is flat and fast,” Peachtree Ridge coach Ron Clanton said. “I know Brookwood and Peachtree Ridge will be in the mix. Collins Hill has been lying in the bushes, so I know they’ve improved. It should be exciting.”
Providence’s Tayler Tuttle appears to be the favorite to win the individual race. The senior has the top time in the county this year at 18 minutes, 31.97 seconds. Norcross’ Katherine Yost broke Collins Hill’s eight-year run of producing a county champion last year. Prior to that, Greater Atlanta Christian’s Jennifer Johnson was the last private school runner to win the crown.
Peachtree Ridge’s Addy Lippitt, Mill Creek’s Lauren Hovis and Brookwood’s Laurel Sumner, Lauren Brennan and Ashely Buda are expected to be in the mix.
The boys race is also expected to be close. Mill Creek snapped Brookwood’s four-year run as county champs last year on the way to the state title. Both teams are expected to battled for the crown again along with Peachtree Ridge and Parkview. Peachtree Ridge’s Kevin Mills has emerged as the favorite with the top time in the county this year at 15:34. It’s also the second-fastest time in the state. Mill Creek’s Tyler Woodrome and Collins Hill’s Daniel Ellis are also title contenders.
Buford’s Thompson breaks school record
Buford’s Josh Thompson set the school record at the East Jackson Invitational on Saturday.
Thompson was the first runner in school history to break the 17-minute mark as he posted a time of 16 minutes, 49 seconds to win the race. He helped the team post the fastest ever team average of 17:55.
The Buford cross country program collected four trophies on the day in the varsity boys and girls races and in both JV races.
three in top 10
Brookwood had three girls finish in the top 10 at the Carrollton Invitational on Saturday. Lauren Brennan was fifth, Laurel Sumner was eighth and Ashley Buda was ninth. The Broncos also had two freshmen place in the top 25 with Mackenzie Ellison in 23rd and Lauren Flynt 24th.
Kettle’s leading GAC
The Kettle family has been a big part of Greater Atlanta Christian’s success this year. Junior Miller Kettle ranked the No. 1 in Class AA with a time of 17 minutes, 13 seconds. His sister Abby Kettle, a freshman, is ranked fifth in AA with a time of 21:07.
Their younger sister Maggie is the No. 1 girls runner for the GAC junior high cross country team.
Bears to trophy
The Mountain View girls placed fourth in the Class AAAAAA race at the Carrollton Invitational on Saturday. Rebecca Winslow won the race with a time of 20 minutes, 45 seconds. Liz Dreggors and Alyssa O’Neil finished in the top 15.
boys win Carrollton
Mountain View’s boys won the Class AAAAAA race at the Carrollton Invitational on Saturday with seven boys earning a medal.
Robert Bevins placed second overall with a time of 17 minutes, 35 seconds. He was followed by Donald Shelton in third (17:39), Tyler Barber, Drew Durden, Bobby Tucker, Zach Frangi and Sam McWhorter.
trophies at Carrollton
Without their top runner in Tayler Tuttle, Providence placed third at the Carrollton Invitational on Saturday. Sophomore Emily Swanigan stepped up Tuttle’s absence by winning the overall race. Senior Ellie Thomas was seventh overall, followed by Hannah Grice, Anna Huntington and Robyn Lowndes.
The boys team finished in fourth place with the help of sophomore Sammy Clough edging out senior Owen Chasteen for seventh place. The other top finishers for the Storm were senior Austin Gilbert, junior Andrew Randazza and sophomore Elijah Carlson.
Eagles’ Ellis, Broncos’ Brennan runners of week
Collins Hill’s Daniel Ellis and Brookwood’s Lauren Brennan were named runners of the week by the cross country coaches on Wednesday.
Ellis had a time of 16 minutes, 9 seconds at the Knights Crossing Invitational in Virginia to place 11th overall.
Brennan was fifth at the Carrollton Invitational with a time of 19:59.
What: Gwinnett County cross country championship
Where: River Green Park, Duluth
• 8 a.m. — varsity girls
• 8:30 a.m. — varsity boys
• 9 a.m. — JV girls
• 9:30 a.m. — JV boys