The Georgia Military College Small School Showcase was held Thursday, Aug. 25 at the GMC Practice Fields and the Oconee River Greenway. With temperatures hovering in the mid-90s, running conditions were not ideal. Despite the heat and the difficult course, there were some great runs by the athletes.
The middle school boys’ race started the day. Colin McCabe had a great race and won the GMC Small School Showcase MS boys title with a blistering time of 12:32.9. He was a full 90 seconds faster than teammate Ethan Tolentino. GMC also had two other runners in the top 10, Garret Kauzlarich (ninth) and Jacob Bailey (10th). Lake Oconee Academy placed two runners in the top 10, Jacob Miller (fourth) and Ty Wood (sixth).
Jacob Little (fourth) and Malik Thorton (fifth) led the way for Putnam County MS. JMA’s highest place runner, Shay Nesmith, finished 12th. Other GMC runners in the top 40 were Colby Avery (12th), Cole Rogers (21st), Walker Strom (23rd), Matt Rion (29th), Christian Black (30th) and Lee Wood (40th). JMA had Quin McManmon also finish in the top 40 with a 36th place finish. The GMC boys won their second consecutive race with a total team score of 34. Lake Oconee Academy was the runner-up with a score of 61, and Lamar County rounded out the top 3 with 76 points.
The middle school girls’ race had Briarwood Academy emerge as the winner with a team score of 36. Putnam County MS finished second with 39 points, and GMC Middle School in third with 51. GMC was led by eighth-grader Emilie Sherwood who finished in seventh place. Gabrielle Seals (10th), Miyah Pittman (25th), Amari Anderson (27th) Mishka Sobti (31st), Janna Rae Thomas (34th) and Emma Evans (35th) rounded out the team. Putnam County was led by a fourth place finish by Samantha Wilkins, while Mount de Sales’ Makayla Hall won the race.
The varsity boys continued the day with a very close team race. GMC and Dodge County finished in a tie after their top 5 runners were scored. In the sixth runner tiebreaker, GMC won. Both schools had 39 points and Jeff Davis finished in third position with 70 points. GMC was led by Aaron Kirkland, who ended in third place. Jacob Kauzlarich (seventh), TJ Johnson (eighth), Ethan Yopp (11th) and Kaylon Farley (14th) were the scoring runners for GMC. Dylan Smith was the critical sixth runner; he ended up in 16th place. Other GMC runners in the top 40 were Whit Pendergast (25th), Ryan Barsby (27th), Michael Barnes (30th) and Logan Steinmeyer (36th). JMA’s Jaskaran Brar finished as the top local runner in 2nd place. Hunter Blenk (20th) Parker Blenk (33rd) and Cameron Mitchem (35th) were also in the top 40. Avery Jones led the way for Putnam County with a 21st place finish. Clayton Scarbororough of Dodge County won the race with a time of 17:42.97.
“The course was a really tough one,” GMC freshman Ryan Barsby said. “The placement of the hill was really hard. The first time up was not too bad, but going up it with about 300 meters, that was not fun at all. Despite that, I was happy with my time and that the GMC teams did so well.”
The last race to run was the Varsity girls and it was dominated by the Jablonski sisters of Monticello High School. Junior Alina won with a time of 22:28, while her freshman sister Mari came in 18 seconds behind. GMC was led by Emma Nelson, who finished in fifth place just ahead of JMA’s Emery Ryan. Lyssa Blair (ninth), Meredith McCook (14th), Mattison Strom (15th) and Haley Wilkinson (22nd) were the scoring runners for GMC. Other GMC runners in the top 40 were Annie Benson (27th), Addison Ethridge (30th) and Mary Elizabeth Jones (38th). JMA’s Olivia Morris (18th) Hannah Reece (24th) and Simran Brar (40th) were all in the top 40 as well.
GMC is back in action Thursday at the North Oconee where they will face some of the strongest competition they will see all season.