It was six decades ago when Georgetown High School’s legendary running coach Vern Hawkins started cross country at Georgetown, and the G-Men and Lady G-Men celebrated 60 years of cross country during the annual Vern Hawkins Cross Country Invitational held Wednesday, Sept. 12.
A total of 328 runners ranging from the middle school to high school level ventured to Vern Hawkins Field on the Georgetown Exempted Village Schools campus on Wednesday to take park in 60th Georgetown cross country meet, and punching the time for each runner who crossed the finish line was Vern Hawkins himself. When not punching the timer, Hawkins sat at the finish line telling stories from the time he coached cross country at GHS and chatting with old friends.
One popular story told by “Coach” Vern Hawkins dates back around 40 years ago, when his tired group of high school runners could hardly take another step at the end of a hard day of practice, until they spotted a ground hog and somehow found the energy to chase after the furry critter.
His daughters, Tracy Hawkins and Christy (Hawkins) Lucas, were there once again Sept. 12 to help run the meet as they have for many years.
The boys and girls teams of West Clermont High School won both 5K races during this year’s Vern Hawkins Invite, while the home standing Georgetown Lady G-Men placed second overall, led to the finish line by Kati Colwell.
The G-Men were led to the finish line by Tanner Ellis, and not far behind was senior teammate Emerson Cahall.
For complete results of this year’s Vern Hawkins Cross Country Invite, be on the lookout for the Sept. 20 edition of The News Democrat and The Ripley Bee.