Wal­lace, Rams run to great­ness

The Covington News - - SPORTS - Matt Smith/the Cov­ing­ton News MATT SMITH msmith@cov­news.com

While run­ning in 90-de­gree heat might sound like tor­ture for some, for a se­lect few, there is noth­ing like it.

New­ton High School cross coun­try run­ners have em­braced the heat thus far into the 2013 sea­son and are look­ing to turn up the flames on their com­pe­ti­tion.

The Rams men's team came away with a third-place fin­ish at its first meet of the sea­son, a sign of good things to come for his pro­gram, New­ton head coach Aaron Robin­son hopes.

"We're young and we've taken it back to basics," Robin­son said. "We lost a good num­ber of our se­niors from last year, but we are in good hands. We have a lot of en­thu­si­as­tic run­ners and they're all try­ing to make their mark on cross coun­try."

The men's team fin­ished third at the team's open­ing event on Aug. 24 at the Spald­ing Jag In­vi­ta­tional, be­hind Her­itage High School and North­gate, but se­nior Kameron Wal­lace made his pres­ence known early in the sea­son with a first-place fin­ish at the in­vi­ta­tional. Wal­lace fin­ished the 5000 me­ter run in a time of 18:39.00, a full 10 sec­onds faster than sec­ond-place fin­isher T.J. Wil­son of Her­itage.

"It was a tough course, but Kameron re­ally showed well at it," Robin­son said. "He was fol­lowed up closly by She­mar Ran­nie, who fin­ished fourth over­all. It was a good meet to get started. It was nice to come back with a tro­phy. The kids were ex­cited about that."

The women's team fin­ished fifth over­all at the event, with Rachael Brown pac­ing the Lady Rams with a 15th place fin­ish. Brown fin­ished in a time of 24:51.00 to lead the women's pro­gram.

While the sea­son may have just be­gun, the team's train­ing be­gan way be­fore the first of­fi­cial whis­tle sounded.

"The team met up over the sum­mer and ran sum­mer track and other com­pe­ti­tions to get them­selves ready for the sea­son," Robin­son said. "They would kind of in­for­mally get to­gether

New­ton se­nior cross coun­try run­ner Kameron Wal­lace sprints around the track dur­ing prac­tice. Wal­lace placed first over­all in the Rams' open­ing meet of the sea­son Aug. 24 at the Spald­ing Jag In­vi­ta­tional. and do some work­outs and put in the miles. That base train­ing over the sum­mer is what is go­ing to help the team the most. We can work on speed dur­ing the fall, but it's dif­fi­cult to get that mileage and base train­ing any other time than the sum­mer. They're earn­ing it."

With suc­cess qual­i­fy­ing for the state meet over the past few sea­sons, Robin­son said that the team's pri­mary goal is to com­pete for a re­gion ti­tle.

"We are in for some tough com­pe­ti­tion at the re­gional level," Robin­son said. "We're al­ways look­ing to im­prove and to get our teams to be the best they can be by the re­gion meet. We are look­ing to give them a fight.

"Rock­dale and Luella are al­ways qual­ity teams that we are go­ing to face," he said.

"But, we haven't been look­ing at them. We want them to know that we're do­ing what we need to do and we're go­ing to be tough, too."

New­ton will com­pete in its next cross coun­try meet on Thurs­day, Sept. 5, at North Oconee High School in Bog­art.

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