Everything was in upward momentum for Connor Old as he headed into the track and field season at Walton.
Old and his Raiders teammates had won the Class AAAAAAA state championship in cross country and was planning on running at the University of Georgia in the fall. However, he was not expecting a two-week hiatus in the middle the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Old said he was originally taken back by the decision.
“Everyone thought it would just be a little intermission,” he said. “I was just going to push on and continue training.”
When the decision was finally made to cancel the season, Old said he was initially angry.
“For running, you have to put in months and months of work for a 4- to 10-minute race,” he said.
Now that Old has had time to reflect on his high school career, he is happy with how everything has turned out.
“Winning state really helped put me on the map,” Old said, “and, this year, everything felt like it came together.”
Old added that he will never forget the feeling of bursting into tears with his teammates and coaches after they found out they had won the cross country state championship in Carrollton.
Old has won at every level of his career. He was the JV county champion in the 3,200-meter run as a freshman and sophomore, as well as a county champion in cross country his freshman year. Everything culminated in Old leading Walton at this year’s cross country state championships with a fifth-place individual finish.
During this abbreviated season, Old broken personal records in three consecutive track meets during the abbreviated season. In addition, he ran a personal-best 4-minute, 26-second mile and finished 10th at the Wingfoot Cross Country Classic with a career-best time of 15:38.
Old plans to study business at Georgia, and he is looking forward to expanding his education there. Old will be running the 8K and 10K for the Bulldogs — a step up from his typical 5K — but he is ready for the challenge and is looking forward to the experience.
“You can’t just be a runner, and the classroom is what will help me out for the rest of my life,” Old said. “Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer, but I think I’ve moved away from that.”