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Mary Persons sophomore Justin Wachtel, leading the pack, finished third among all state runners in the 3,200 meters at the Georgia High School Meet of Champions in Marietta on May 17. (Photo/Kip Burdette)

The Mary Persons varsity and JV boys cross country teams will compete in their lone home meet of the season at the Monroe County Recreation Department at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

MP junior phenom Justin Wachtel, who has won each of his first two races of the season, is expected to run in the annual Bulldog Distance Classic, which also includes the Monroe County Middle School boys team. Wachtel was the individual boys champion of the inaugural Bulldog Distance Classic in 2018.

In its most recent competition, the MP varsity boys cross country team placed 14th out of 39 teams at the Saucony Battle of Atlanta meet at Nash Farms Battlefield in Hampton on Aug. 24.

MP finished with 491 points as South Forsyth took the top spot with 112 points. Marietta placed second with 122 points, edging Brookwood, which finished third with 125 points.

Wachtel dominated the boys race, finishing first out of 345 runners with a time of 15 minutes, 50 seconds, nearly 14 seconds faster than the second-place time recorded by Marietta’s Kamari Miller.

MPs other counting times were recorded by: Logan O’Neill, who placed 77th with a time of 18 minutes, 12 seconds, Connor Battles, who placed 134th with a time of 18 minutes, 54 seconds, Alec Remick, who placed 140th with a time of 18 minutes, 57 seconds, and Holden Haworth, who placed 164th with a time of 19 minutes, 16 seconds.

Other MP boys varsity runners who competed on Aug. 24 but did not record counting times included: Weston Dunwody, who placed 199th with a time of 19 minutes, 49 seconds, Bryce Lynch, who placed 270th with a time of 21 minutes, 4 seconds, Alex Hansen, who placed 284th with a time of 21 minutes, 21 seconds, Michael Necastro, who placed 291st with a time of 21 minutes, 33 seconds, and Hunter Benson, who placed 340th with a time of 25 minutes, 17 seconds.

Other schools who competed in the boys varsity race on Aug. 24 in order of highest to lowest finish included: Decatur, Pope, Mandarin, East Coweta, Marist, Loganville, Carrollton, Richmond Hill, Wesleyan, Allatoona, Druid Hills, East Paulding, Union Grove, Woodward Academy, Evans, Strong Rock Christian, Lakeside (Evans), Paideia, Northgate, Forsyth Central, Ola, Whitewater, Trinity Sharpsburg Christian, Veterans, Johnson, Jones County, Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Grayson, Locust Grove, Lassiter, North Springs, Spalding, Woodland (Stockbridge), Eagles Landing Christian and Hampton.

Also, the MP JV boys cross country team placed 31st out of 37 teams on Aug. 24. The JV Bulldogs finished with 967 points as Brookwood took the JV boys team title with 43 points. Brookwood’s Dylan Shust was the JV boys individual champion with a time of 18 minutes, 33 seconds.

MP JV runners who recorded counting times were: Dylan Garza, who placed 243rd out of 573 total JV runners with a time of 23 minutes, 8 seconds, Luke McBride, who placed 374th with a time of 25 minutes, 14 seconds, Clayton Drury, who placed 376th with a time of 25 minutes, 17 seconds, Leighton Judd, who placed 384th with a time of 25 minutes, 27 seconds, and Mitchell Whitfield, who placed 422nd with a time of 26 minutes, 22 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Monroe County Middle School boys cross country team placed 16th out of 28 teams in Hampton on Aug. 24.

The C-Team boys finished with 497 points as Great Strides captured the meet championship with 24 points. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal was the runner-up with 95 points while Lovett came in a distant third with 167 points. Ian Vinson of Great Strides was the c-team boys individual meet champion with a time of 10 minutes, 39 seconds, about eight seconds faster than teammate Reid Latimer, who placed second.

Gavin Harris recorded Monroe County’s top middle school boys time of 12 minutes, 53 seconds to place 50th out of 439 total runners. Other middle school boys runners achieving counting times included: Kayden Mays, who placed 69th with a time of 13 minutes, 16 seconds, Ike Dunwody, who placed 181st with a time of 14 minutes, 50 seconds, Cole Battles, who placed 197th with a time of 15 minutes, 7 seconds, and Todd McCall, who placed 200th with a time of 15 minutes, 8 seconds.

Other C-Team boys runners who competed on Aug. 24 but did not record counting times included: Wes Stapleton, who placed 281st with a time of 16 minutes, 34 seconds, Mac Roeser, who placed 292nd with a time of 16 minutes, 42 seconds, Breydan Funck, who placed 349th with a time of 18 minutes, 6 seconds, and Caleb Moore, who placed 397th with a time of 20 minutes, 40 seconds.

Other schools who competed in the c-team boys race on Aug. 24 in order of highest to lowest finish included: Brookwood Youth Running, Cornerstone Christian, Mount Bethel Christian, Evans, Holy Redeemer Catholic, Renfroe, Trinity Sharpsburg, Riverwatch, Allatoona, Strong Rock Christian, Union Grove, Junior, Paideia, Rivers Academy, Locust Grove, High Meadows, Eagles Landing Christian, Loganville, Walker, Inman, Creekside Christian, Cousins, Rehobath Road and Eastside Christian.

One week earlier, on Aug. 17, the MP boys varsity cross country squad opened its season by finishing second out of 19 teams at the Mid-State XC Classic at Cherokee Pines in Perry.

The Bulldogs finished with 95 points, coming up just three points shy of first place Evans, which totaled 92 points. Wayne County placed third with 118 points.

Once again, Wachtel was the boys meet individual champion out of 291 total boys runners with a time of 14 minutes, 55 seconds, finishing 1 minute, 2 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, Jonathan Greene of Evans, who took second. MP’s other counting times were recorded by: Connor Battles, who placed 10th with a time of 17 minutes, 34 seconds, O’Neill, who placed 11th with a time of 17 minutes, 36 seconds, Remick, who placed 24th with a time of 18 minutes, 18 seconds, and Haworth, who placed 49th with a time of 19 minutes, 3 seconds.

Other MP boys varsity runners who competed in Perry but did not record counting times included: Weston Dunwody, who placed 50th with a time of 19 minutes, 5 seconds, Hansen, who placed 98th with a time of 20 minutes, 41 seconds, Lynch who placed 114th with a time of 21 minutes, 2 seconds, Garza, who placed 134th with a time of 21 minutes, 28 seconds, Necastro, who placed 135th with a time of 21 minutes, 29 seconds, Benson, who placed 187th with a time of 23 minutes, 17 seconds, Drury, who placed 192nd with a time of 23 minutes, 27 seconds, Whitfield, who placed 197th with a time of 23 minutes, 47 seconds, McBride, who placed 199th with a time of 23 minutes, 52 seconds, Judd, who placed 208th with a time of 24 minutes, 8 seconds, Liam Whitson, who placed 252nd with a time of 28 minutes, 29 seconds, Benjamin Robinson, who placed 253rd with a time of 28 minutes, 35 seconds, Marshall Causey, who placed 254th with a time of 28 minutes, 37 seconds, Brock Brown, who placed 271st with a time of 30 minutes, 51 seconds, and Landon Smith, who placed 277th with a time of 32 minutes, 16 seconds.

Other boys varsity teams who competed in Perry in order of highest to lowest finish included: Veterans, Westover, Lee County, Vidalia, Coffee, Northside (Warner Robins), Perry, Schley County, Upson-Lee, Warner Robins, Houston County, Mount de Sales, ACE, Hawkinsville, Wilcox County and Howard.

Also, the Monroe County Middle School boys cross country team placed third out of seven teams in Perry on Aug. 17.

The C-Team boys squad finished with 89 points as West Laurens took the c-team boys team title with 21 points. Perry was the boys runner-up with 78 points. West Laurens’ Logan Ramsey was the c-team boys individual champion with a time of 9 minutes, 59 seconds, about nine seconds faster than that of teammate Aiden Seymour, who finished second.

Mays recorded Monroe County Middle’s top individual boys time of 9 minutes, 59 seconds to place third out of 78 total c-team boys runners. Other Monroe County boys counting times were recorded by: Stapleton, who placed 15th with a time of 11 minutes, 2 seconds, Cole Battles, who placed 34th with a time of 11 minutes, 58 seconds, McCall, who placed 39th with a time of 12 minutes, 18 seconds, and Ike Dunwody, who placed 40th with a time of 12 minutes, 19 seconds.

Other C-Team boys runners who competed in Perry but failed to record counting times included: Roeser, who placed 46th with a time of 12 minutes, 59 seconds, Funck, who placed 54th with a time of 13 minutes, 16 seconds, and Moore, who placed 62nd with a time of 14 minutes, 30 seconds

Other C-Team boys teams who competed in Perry in order of highest to lowest finish included: ACE, Wilcox Middle, Furlow Charter Middle and Mount de Sales.