Runner of the Year: Monster season leaves Kell’s Poteet on top
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
December 16, 2013 12:04 AM | 1983 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
12-12-13 -- Cobb boys' cross country runner of the year for 2013 Logan Poteet. Staff/jeff Stanton
12-12-13 -- Cobb boys' cross country runner of the year for 2013 Logan Poteet. Staff/jeff Stanton
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Logan Poteet developed a passion and a love for competitive running during his first season as a member of a junior team in the eighth grade, and that desire has served him well in high school.

The junior runs year-round now for Kell and is a talented member of the Longhorns cross country and track and field teams.

Poteet doesn’t go into a meet with any expectations for himself other than to run the best race he possibly can. On several occasions during the 2013 cross country season, Poteet’s best race was better than everyone else’s.

Poteet won five races, including the Class AAAAA state cross country championship. He placed ninth last year with a time of 17 minutes, 12.35 seconds. This time, he crossed the finish line almost a full minute faster — coming in at 16.13.38.

For his spectacular season and winning the state cross country title, Logan Poteet is the 2013 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Runner of the Year.

“I was hoping I could get it, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was Kenan (Farmer at Walton who had won),” Poteet said. “He’s a great runner. I never have any expectations with my running. But, I’m thankful for it and excited. I’m honored to get it.

“I would like to thank my coaches. I have great coaches and they’re very supportive of everything. It was a better season than I could have ever thought it would be. I’m hoping I can defend my title next year.”

Poteet has been a member of the Kell varsity cross country team since his freshman season. He has improved each year leading up to this year’s state title run.

“We knew he was going to be something special from the beginning,” Kell coach Andi Jenkins said. “It takes hard work and dedication and he has that drive to be a top athlete and a top runner.”

Besides the state meet, Poteet also won the Region 7AAAAA title in 15:48.54 and the Savannah Arts Fleet Feet XC Kickoff Classic with a time of 16:43.41. He finished first at the Atlanta Classic (16:00.42) as well as the Golden Eagle (16:14.54) meet. He was second (16:10.06) at the Cobb County Championship.

Poteet ran his best race of the year at the Warpath Invitational, clocking in with a personal best time of 15:39.58.

“Besides the state meet, the best race for me this season was at the Warpath Invitational, hosted by Cherokee High School,” Poteet said. “There were some really good runners that I ran against before but never thought I could compete with. That’s when my season kind of took off. I had my first sub-16 race there.

“It was honestly a better race for me than state. It was my (personal record) all season and a really good race.”

Poteet also had a good race at the state meet. Instead of running hard the entire race, he stayed with the top three runners for the first mile in a tight pack. He made a move during the second mile because “Carrollton is really hilly and it’s a hard course to run,” Poteet said. He kicked really hard the rest of the second mile to increase his separation from the pack — giving him a 15-meter gap — and then cruised during the third mile to get the victory.

Depending on the race and who he’s running against, Poteet will go hard the first mile and stay out front the entire time, or he’ll run a more tactical race, like he did to win at state.

“It felt really good afterwards to finally get to that goal I was working on,” Poteet said. “I’ve been building myself up to the moment when I could win the state meet since I started running in high school.”

Jenkins was happy for all of Poteet’s success.

“I’m very proud of him,” she said. “It’s a much deserved honor. He worked really hard for it all year, so I’m very proud he’s the runner of the year this year.

“I think with each race he got more and more confident. I think he learned a lot from every single race. If he did something wrong or anything like that, he learned from each mistake.

“Winning state was something that we knew he could do. We’re really excited he was able to accomplish the goal that he had set this year.”

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