COVINGTON - With the region cross county meets looming just around the corner, coaches are hoping to tweak their teams at the Tiger Trail Classic on Saturday at Alcovy High School.
Ten teams will compete in the event, including local school Salem and Newton, as well as the host Alcovy.
One thing that coaches like about this particular event, compared to last week's Aubrae Gunderson Invitational at the Georgia International Horse Park, is the size.
"The Aubrae Gunderson is one of the biggest meets we compete in. It's a real eye opener for the runners," Salem coach Kurt Peters said. "For example, Shannon Christian was our best finisher with sixth place and our next best as 74th.
"Both athletes ran very well and did their personal best for the season. However, the huge gap is a direct result of the large field of runners. On Saturday at the Tiger Trail Classic, this will not be the case."
A smaller field will prove to be an advantage for many coaches because they will be able to test different strategies and try out different runners.
"Meet size doesn't have any real effect, as we run every meet for time or strategy-specific goals," Alcovy coach Scott Murphy said. "We treat everything before postseason as practice."
Some of the goals the Tigers will work on are to keep their No. 5 runners, for the boys and girls team, as close to the pack as possible, have Josh Holcombe stay on pace for the first mile and have Tatlin Gammon take valuable positions from other teams in the girls race.
Also competing in the event are Decatur, Douglass, North Atlanta, Ola, Sequoyah, Shiloh, Our Lady of Mercy and Stockbridge.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At a glance
· What: Tiger Trail Classic
· Where: Alcovy High School
· When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m.
· Who: Ten schools, including local squads from Alcovy, Newton and Salem