Cameron Pack is expected to be one of the leaders of the Morrow cross country team heading into today’s Battle of Atlanta race in Hampton. (Special Photo)
MORROW — It’s not like Anthony McKissic doesn’t believe in his team, but the Morrow cross country coach has a realistic goal for his team in today’s Battle of Atlanta meet.
The Mustangs are not expected to challenge in the 30-plus field of teams from around the state, but McKissic does expects a good effort.
“To be honest, we are not going to win it, but I do want to see some improvement,” McKissic said. “I love this county, but Clayton County is not on the map as far as cross country. We are looking to improve on our individual teams.”
The Battle of Atlanta will be ran at Nash Farm in Hampton.
The Mustangs got a big confidence boost last week, when they finished fifth in the Warner Robins Cross Country Invitational. Cameron Pack led the way as he finished 17th overall for the Mustangs.
Because the Mustangs will face some stiffer opposition this weekend, McKissic is confident that his runners’ time will drop.
“I want to see how we do against some of the top competition in the state,” he said. “I want my runners to get some exposure. I don’t want it to be a culture shock for us when we go to the bigger meets. I don’t expect us to win it, but I do want to see our times drop.”
Last season, Morrow finished fourth in Region 2-AAAAAA and advanced to the state meet in Carrollton.
According to McKissic, when the team got a the state meet, they were a little overwhelmed by the overall competition. To help them overcome their fears of the big meets, the coach has upgraded the schedule to face some top teams.
“They need to see some reality,” McKissic said. “We need to face some good teams. We have some talent. I think our guys will get better when they run against some top teams.”
Lovejoy is also scheduled to compete in the meet, which starts at 8 a.m. with the boys meet and the girls will follow. The varsity awards ceremony is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.
The meet is hosted by Eagle’s Landing, Luella and Union Grove high schools. Luella is also a member of the same region as Lovejoy and Morrow. The meet will be scored in the traditional way and also with North vs South scoring - top 15 runners from schools north of I-20 vs top 15 runners from schools south of I-20.