Head coach Michael McGuire is leading a group of 40 boys and 24 girls this season.
Last season, the boys finished as the region runner-up while the girls finished third at region and both teams placed 11th at state in Class AAAAA. This year, McGuire said, “Our goals this season are to win region and to place in the top 10 at state.”
Thus far the team has only competed in one meet – the Bob Blastow Early Bird. Traveling to Foxhall Sporting Club in Douglasville on Aug. 24, McGuire said the meet was “OK.” The boys finished ninth out of 15 teams, and the girls 10th out of 15.
“One of our top boys is injured so that kept us from placing as high as I would have liked on the boys’ side. On the girls’ side, it was a good first race to get the nerves out,” said McGuire.
While the meet did not go as well as he might have liked, McGuire said he believes the girls will run much better later in the season. He also said the competition was “extremely tough, much tougher” than it will be at region and state as they competed against teams from outside their region, including traditional powerhouses like Blessed Trinity and Marist.
The top runners on the boys’ team are seniors Greg Veneziale and Cory Hancock and junior Adam Cook. For the girls, it’s seniors Ashley Taylor and Stephanie Peters and junior Franchesca Collins.
North Paulding will compete again on Saturday in the seventh annual run at the Rock Invitational at Woodland High School in Cartersville. McGuire said has a good feeling about it already.
“I think the boys have a good shot at winning Run at the Rock on Sept. 7 and I think the girls have a good shot at placing in the top three,” he said.