Most casual prep sports fans have no idea how much of a good time a high school track and field competition can be as a spectator. Even though the heat can sometimes be unbearable, one of the best high school events each year to me is the Georgia High School Association boys track and field championships in Jefferson.
Just to the northwest of Athens, Jefferson becomes the hub of boys track and field every May as Memorial Stadium continues to serve as the goal for male sprinters, leapers, vaulters, putters (shot variety) and discus throwers.
The finals through five classifications is nothing but non-stop action as events are taking place throughout the stadium. There is nothing so action packed and exciting as the carefully orchestrated chaos of a well-run track and field event. At times, there is literally action going on in every corner of the stadium, and it is a sight to behold.
This weekend’s Dalton Rotary Invitational Track Meet — now named the Ronnie McClurg Invitational in honor of the long-time Dalton athletics fixture — has been in existence for nearly four decades, and the local Rotarians know how to run a meet. That should mean that the athletes from the area will put on quite a show.
The early weather outlook for Saturday is temperatures in the 70s with a chance of showers, which should be perfect for spectators — not too hot, not too cool with a slight breeze.
Coming into the weekend, Dalton boys track coach Scott Thompson had 13 schools confirmed to participate with the hope that “15 to 20” schools would be in action at the meet.
If you have never been to a track meet and always thought that it would be too boring, I encourage you to give the McClurg Invitational a look. Both Murray County schools, Northwest Whitfield and a handful of other school mainly from around the northwest part of the state will be in action, and you will certainly get your money’s worth.
Here is a look at what else is going on in the area this week:
• Going from one kind of organized chaos to another, the Harlem Globetrotters will be in action tonight at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center for their first show in Dalton since 2010.
Even if you have no knowledge whatsoever of basketball, the Globetrotters put on a crowd-pleasing show that is part circus, part Vaudeville, part slap-stick and, yes, a lot of basketball. But while no one will remember the final score (lock of the week: Trotters win), the night will provide plenty of memories.
I can remember seeing the Globetrotters back in the early 1980s in the old Savannah Civic Center and walked away with a lot of laughs, a good night out with Dad and Curly Neal’s autograph. I still don’t know how they managed to get off of Gilligan’s Island.
• Golf takes center stage this week in the prep schedule with the marquee event the North Georgia Invitational concluding at The Farm on Tuesday. Area teams have been particularly strong this year with North Murray boys, Northwest Whitfield boys, Dalton boys and Southeast Whitfield girls all getting off to a fast start. Northwest and Dalton will be in action in the Invitational, which is a two-round event separated by a week and played on two different courses. Last week at Barnsley Gardens, Roswell opened with a 10-stroke lead over second-placed Dalton, shooting a 312. Northwest was sixth with a 351, but both teams are looking for an upgrade in the second round.
The Bruins carded a 314 on Saturday at LaFayette Golf Course to finish third at the LaFayette Invitational. Dalton was fifth with a 319.
North Murray’s boys, which won the LaFayette tournament with a 307, will take on Southeast and Murray County this afternoon at Spring Lakes in Chatsworth. For the complete prep schedule for the week, see page 3B or you can always access it online at daltonnow.com/events.
Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Got something you think should be in What’s Going On? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.