The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets reached into Florida for the second year in a row and signed a versatile distance standout of the Sunshine State. Last year, it was Chiles Avery Bartlett. This year, John Lyons of Lake Mary. Two athletes with a range from 800 meters to the 5k. Lyons says unlike most standout athletes that see the recruitment come to them, he had to initiate the initial conversations.
"At first I was reaching out to schools to see if I might be able to get a spot on the team and what kind of times that would take. Then after I ran a 4:18 at the Jeff Wentworth Relays some schools started to reach out to me including the UF coaches who became very interested."
The Rams senior considered the Gators, Notre Dame, and FSU as well, but he says it was the Yellow Jackets that won him over.
"Ultimately I chose GT because of the great balance of academics and athletics, and the great group of guys. I can see the comparison to Avery (Bartlett). I had a chance to talk to him when I was up there and he loves it. Track will probably be the main focus, but cross country could also join that with a few years of development."
Lyons played soccer for Lake Mary his freshman year, but decided to focus on running following that season. Coach Bryan Corkins says he saw the true emergence of the youngster during a practice at the end of last season.
"As the second fastest leg of the sub 8:00 4x800 we began to notice he had an edge in the middle distance. Chrisitan (Aman) and John began to tussle a bit during workouts. We had a clear picture that John might have a breakout year. He's meant a lot to the program. He has showed that Lake Mary's rise to one of the best distance programs wasn't a fluke. His role shifted from an understudy of Ryan DeGale and Christian Aman to leader of the new pack."