Mary Persons senior Justin Wachtel was recently awarded the USA TODAY High School Cross County Athlete of the Year award for Georgia. The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards Show originally scheduled in May was replaced with a digital on-demand awards show. The digital show featured multiple celebrity athletes announcing finalists and winners.
Even though track and field was cancelled, Wachtel still trained to reach personal goals. He ran an 8.57 (Sub9) in a 3200M time trial in May. Just to put that in perspective, it would have ranked him #6 all time for all classifications in Georgia. That would have been a new 4A State Record. He was only 5 seconds off the state record for all classifications in this non-competitive race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an officially timed event but one can only imagine what it would’ve been like to see such a running performance during the regular season state race. Justin is slated to race the 3200M at Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville on Aug. 15. This is a limited invite only race with top high school runners from all over the country competing.
Wachtel is currently in Colorado where he is training for two weeks with 8 other top runners from around the US. Wachtel is having a blast running at high altitudes with such an elite group of distance runners. Wachtel is recognized as one of the nation’s top recruits.