Sid Vaughn usually has to worry about only breakfast before he competes on race days, with start times as early as 7:30 a.m.
But on Saturday, Vaughn and the boys teams raced at 2:30 in the afternoon and the girls followed at about 3 as both Lakeside teams won Region 2-AAAA cross country titles at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans.
The start times are scheduled to be the same this Saturday at Carrollton for the boys and girls Class AAAA state races.
“It helps you get used to what the temperature will be like,” said Vaughn, adding the later start not only increases the likelihood of eating lunch but also requires participants to drink more fluids to stay hydrated.
Vaughn captured the boys title on Saturday, completing the race in 16:10.56, more than 17 seconds better than Greenbrier’s Chris Wilder.
The Lakeside boys had 27 points as a team and Greenbrier came in second with 45. Evans was fifth with 131.
Chase Fowers and Eric Stokes provided depth for the Panthers, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Lakeside’s Sarah Bowles clocked in at 19:18.78 and teammates Lara Way, Jasmine Payne and Erin Payne came in third, fourth and fifth.
Lakeside’s girls totaled 24 points to take first while Evans placed second with 91 and Greenbrier was fourth with its 126.
While the course at Blanchard Woods Park is hilly, the first mile doesn’t give a hint to that. Bowles said it’s mostly downhill at the beginning, so it can be a little deceiving.
She said patience is key because the downhill start can be tempting when it comes to wanting to push hard early.
Though the victories gave the Panthers region championships, the bigger stage is upcoming.
At the state meet in 2010, the Lakeside girls placed third and the boys came in sixth.
“It’s definitely a confidence-builder,” Bowles said of the win.
“Next week is what I’m focused on.”