The Knights are looking to repeat their 2012 success as they begin the final stage of the ’13 season.
Pace finished ninth out of 16 teams in the GACS Invitational at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross March 16 and had an 11th-place showing in the Battle of the Branch in Flowery Branch March 29.
The Knights also played second behind Whitefield in a meet at Galloway Feb. 26 and fifth in a competition with Westminster, Lovett, Whitefield and Greater Atlanta Christian March 20.
With only a dual meet at Galloway Thursday remaining on its regular-season schedule, Pace is now looking forward to the Area 3A meet at Strong Rock Christian April 18 and 19, followed by the sectionals at Landmark Christian April 27 and the state meet in Jefferson May 2 through 4.
Coach Jolie Cunningham is confident about where her team stands as it looks ahead to the postseason.
“They’re doing well,” Cunningham said. “We’ll see what happens at state.”
Pace has been able to achieve its success, despite not having a track on its campus to work out on.
The Knights work out in the school parking lot and at the Riverview Athletic Complex in Mableton, occasionally going over to Whitefield as well.
“The kids respond well off of what we do,” Cunningham said. “We just have to be creative in how we do it.”
Pace is missing sprinter Glen Harris — a third-place state finisher in the Class A 200-meter dash in 2012, who is now competing in track at the Naval Academy — and junior Denzel Franklin — who placed third in the long jump at the state meet last year and is out for the season as he recovers from a broken ankle suffered while playing football last fall.
However, the Knights have returned junior Kenny Selmon — the state champion in the 300-meter hurdles and a third-place Class A finisher in the 110 hurdles a year ago.
Selmon has picked up where he left off, ranking first among Class A private school athletes in both the 110 hurdles (14.54 seconds) and 300 hurdles (38.76), according to the gamilesplit.com website.
“Kenny has just continued on from last year,” Cunningham said. “He’s a gifted athlete and works at [track and field] year round. It’s not just something that he picks up when track starts. It’s his main focus.”
Pace has also been boosted by the development of junior distance runner Josh Rogers, who is second in the 1,600 (4:31.80) and third in the 3,200 (10:18) runs in the gamilesplit.com rankings.
“Last year, his [personal-best time] was 4:39 and he’s already run 4:31 this year,” Cunningham said. “In the 3,200, he’s right at 10 [minutes] or ready to go under [10 minutes]. We’ll see what happens there.”
The Knights are also strong in the relay races, with junior Jordan Brown a key part of both the 400 and 1,600 relays and freshman Xori Johnson in the 400 relay.