COVINGTON, Ga. — Nia Barrett has stormed out of the gate to begin her sophomore season. Two meets in and Barrett has separated herself as the top Newton Lady Ram runner.
In the inaugural meet of 2023, Barrett placed first at the Into the Trail Invitational on Aug. 19 at Locust Grove High School. She recorded a 24:04.80 final time in the junior varsity 5,000-meter run to accomplish that.
Barrett shared what that moment was like for her.
“It felt really good,” Barrett said. “It was mind blowing because I’ve never got first place.”
A week later, the sophomore stepped up to the varsity competition and had a solid showing.
At the Champions Chase on Aug. 26, Barrett’s 23:49.69 final time paved the way for her sixth place finish in the 5,000-meter run.
Winning meets is just one of the things Barrett likes about cross country.
“I like meeting new people,” Barrett said. “I also like the competitiveness of the sport. I like to win.”
This year is just the second season Barrett has run cross country. Her first sport was track where she ran long distances.
When asked what separates cross country and track, Barrett stressed that cross country is more of a “mind challenge.” But she described one of her strengths as a runner is being “strong minded.”
Barrett plans to take that mindset to the rest of Newton’s remaining cross country schedule.
Next up for the Rams is competing at the Morgan County home meet in Madison on Sept. 13. Newton will take part in the North Georgia Invitational three days later followed by the South Metro Classic in Fairburn, Georgia.
As for Barrett, she wants to continue progress toward her personal goals.
“I’m just trying to work on beating my time and just getting stronger,” Barrett said. “I’m trying to get down to 20 minutes flat and I want to get more medals and more recognition.”
This story will be included a future edition of The Covington News.