Last Saturday, September 12th was the Carrollton Invitational. This is a hilly course and the same course that is used for state. The team drove over to Carrollton Friday afternoon and ran the course for their Friday workout and so they would be more familure with the course.
I drove over in the morning to watch Payton and her team. It was an early morning, but was a nice day for running and watching a race.
Payton was running Varsity so had one of the early races. She got ready and did some warm ups and it was time to line up. The team lined up and before too long they were off. Like I mentioned the course is a really hilly course which made it a tough course to PR at.
Payton was running a great race and was looking strong. It was a hard course to get to the mile markers so I wasn't sure how well she was doing as I watched her on the course. Finally the last stretch came and I saw she was running her best race ever. I watched as she came across the finish line strong 32nd out of 164 girls in the Championship Girls Race with a time of 20:59..... breaking the 21 minute barrier for the first time for a new PR..... on a tough, hilly course!
Payton and I stayed the day and watched the rest of the races and stayed to cheer on the JV team. We watched the JV race and there was one girl a good distance in front of the rest of the runners. She was from a different team but was running a solid race. We watched her finish and I noted her time and told Payton she only beat her time by 4 seconds meaning that if Payton would have run the JV race she could have possibly won that race.
The Brookwood Girls did excellent, both the Varsity and JV winning their races.
The above race pushed Payton up a spot on her team. She is now running in the #7 slot on her team, out of 105 girls.
Today's race was also very exciting. Today was the Gwinnett County Championship races at River Green in Duluth. The complex was appropriately named with todays weather. It has been raining much of the last week and the ground is well saturated already. The weather called for rain all day again today as well.
We arrived at the course at 6:45 this morning while it was still dark. The race was to start at 8:00 and luckily we had not gotten much rain overnight and it was currently not raining. The course was still very soggy with some areas with standing water.
8:00 came and the time for the first race of the day was here. Payton lined up with the rest of the Varsity team and the gun went off. As soon as the gun went off the race and the rain started. It poured the entire race which made it a difficult race. This is a flat course but the rain and soggy conditions made it harder than it would normally be.
Payton ran a really good race with a first mile split of 6:39. She slowed a bit on the second mile for a 6:50 pace, and then finished off with a last 1.1 mile split of 7:44. Her official time was 21:13 which was excellent for the conditions. She finished 24th overall out of 119. Pretty impressive to finish 24th in the county championships as a freshman!
The Brookwood Varsity girls won County for the first time since 2002!
It kept raining and the conditions got a lot worse. The rest of the races today got continually worse and they were running through mini knee high rivers and mud everywhere. There was more than a few runners that lost their shoes going through the mud and water. I am just glad that Payton got to run the first race before it got that bad.