Wednesday was National Signing Day when colleges across the United States filled out next year's classes. Several talented athletes from in around Smyrna-Vinings committed to continue their athletic careers outside high school.
Whitefield Academy senior Cameron Thornton signs with Texas A&M University, winner of three NCAA National Championships in men’s track and field.
Thornton's long list of athletic achievements include representing the USA at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Youth Championships held in Lille, France. After a brilliant first-place victory (Division A) in the 2011 GHSA cross-country championship, Thornton made the 2011 Cobb County All-County Boys Cross-Country team, was selected as the 2011 Marietta Daily Journal Cross-Country Runner of the Year, and was named 2011 Marietta Daily Journal Male Athlete of the Year (for all high school divisions, from single A to AAAAA schools). He was also invited by the Atlanta Track Club to its All-Metro Team and became a featured athlete in "In the Game" magazine, a publication highlighting exceptional high school athletes in the Atlanta area.
In addition, Thornton won first place in multiple cross-country events this past season, including the ASCIS Invitational and Battle of Atlanta competition. These accomplishments are all in addition to his track and field awards and honors, which include a state title for the 800-meter in 2010, a photo-finish second place spot for the 800 in the 2011 state championships, a state title for the 1600-meter in 2010 and 2011, and two state titles (2010, 2011) as the anchor for the 4x400 relay.
“We’d sometimes run during P.E. in middle school and I remember I always finished first,” Thornton said, “but I never really thought about running track or cross-country until Coach Alar mentioned it.”
A gifted basketball player, Thornton gave up the game after his sophomore season to focus solely on running.
“Cameron has that rare combination that makes athletes great,” said Alar. “He has natural talent, but he also has an amazing willingness to push himself, great endurance, amazing speed, and a high threshold for pain. All that combined makes Cameron an incredible runner.”
Campbell High School senior Cory Hawkins signed on to play football at the collegiate level. Hawkins accepted an academic scholarship and signed to play football with Mercer University in Macon Wednesday.
Across town two of The Lovett School's Football Lions signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday and will both continue their careers at the collegiate level. Justin Holder will attend Stetson University in central Florida. Will Flood will join Lovett alum Jonathan Carkhuff on the field next season at Davidson College in North Carolina.
-Courtesy of Whitefield Academy, Campbell High School and The Lovett School