Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

As this week has gone along, we’ve been getting pretty excited down here at The List HQ.

Admittedly, part of that is because all the pollen has finally washed off our cars. Most of them are so rusty, they could barely handle the extra weight.

But most of the excitement has to do with the Georgia Olympics coming up Thursday, where the boys state track and field champs will be crowned.

Of course, there’s no way to really see this awesome event without making the trek to Jefferson and seeing it for yourself. In fact, if you can run there, do it. It’ll be fitting. But we suppose a car will work too.

What’s that? You’re skeptical. Well, then, read the 10 best reasons you need to go.

10. Great facility in Jefferson

There’s a reason the state meet keeps coming back there again and again and again and again. It’s certainly not because Jefferson, which sits about 20 miles northwest of Athens, is centrally located. It’s because the facility is fantastic, and the Jefferson High folks do a first-rate job every year.

9. Meet the athletes

Go to a football game, and the players often disappear onto a bus or into their locker room shortly after the final horn. With basketball, they’re jogging out of the gym post-handshakes. But in track, your heroes are sitting in the stands, mingling with the crowd. Want to tell a kid “Heckuva run in the 100!” just go find him.

8. Three days of awesomeness

It just keeps going down there. Sit there for three days, and you’ll see all sorts of amazing feats. At the championships for most sports, you might get a day and a few games. In track and field, you get a trio of days, 16 events and eleventy billion some-odd heats to get worked up over.

7. So many events

Feeding off No. 6 … yes, that’s 16 events. Like sprinters? We’ve got ‘em. Hurdlers? Check. Jumpers, throwers and runners? Yep, yep and yep. And the action is non-stop. There’s always something going on, and there’s often somebody setting a state-best mark for the year, maybe ever.

6. Atmosphere

There’s just nothing like it. There’s always a buzz around some runners, typically the sprinters. Think about the Summer Olympics, and then multiply that by 1,000. OK, that may just be us who feel that way, but it’s all subjective anyway, so stop raining on our parade. The state media are there. Everybody’s watching. It’s great.

5. See the best athletes

Go see the state championships in football or basketball, and you’ll get some great athletes, but many others will be playing at different places, at different times, and you can’t get there. But the best will be right there in Jefferson these next few days. They’ve all proven themselves to be among the best the state has produced this year, and you only have to make one trip to see them do their thing.

4. Everybody’s there

Not only are the best athletes on the track, but most schools will have representatives there. So no matter who you root for, chances are good you’ll have somebody to watch try to take home a title. Or you can just root for everybody, but that doesn’t seem like quite as much fun.

3. Weather’s going to be great

That’s if it doesn’t rain, of course. But even if there’s a little wetness, you won’t melt. Look at the forecast. Unlike some other years, it won’t be blisteringly hot. It’s going to be in the low 70s for a high, which should be perfect running weather, along with perfect sitting-in-the-stands-and-eating-nachos weather.

2. See Banneker’s Bespectacled Blur

Ever see a lightning-fast sophomore runner compete while wearing glasses? Meet Ryan Clark from Banneker. He’ll be competing in the 200, 400 and 4X400, after winning the 200 and 400 at Sectionals. He has the state’s best times of the year in the 200 and 400, and his 400 time of 47.57 is 19th-best in the country.

1. Watch football players run

OK, we’re sure some of you still aren’t convinced. “But it’s still not football!” you cry. Well, what if we told you some of the state’s best football players will be there too? That’s right. Lots of them, in fact. For just a small sample, how’s 4-star recruits Kendarius Webster (Stockbridge) in the 100 and 200; Stanley Williams (George Walton Academy) in the 100 and long jump; and 3-star recruit Demarquis Polite (M.L. King) in the 4X100? Yeah, now you want to go. We knew it.

Now we want to know what you think. Why are you headed to the Georgia Olympics? Which events are you looking forward to watching? Does wearing glasses actually make you faster? Let us know here in the comments or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.

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