It seems fair to say that the day belonged to South Forsyth in Thursday’s county cross country meet.
War Eagle runners took first place in both the girls and boys races, with the South boys earning a perfect score to run away with the team title as well.
West Forsyth, the host school, edged South by a single point to win the team title on the girls side.
Both individual winners set county meet records, with sophomore Allie Schaich crossing the finish line in 19:08.25 and junior Dylan Walker finishing off the course in 16:18.50.
Schaich won her second straight county title with the win, topping West’s Kat Gibson by 18 seconds, with West’s Taylor Roeck coming in third.
“I knew that [Roeck] and Kat ... were really fast,” Schaich said of her competition coming into the race. Schaich’s finish was a personal record, besting her previous mark by one second.
For Walker, it was his first win in any race, as he beat out teammate Gator Jackson by eight seconds. South snagged the first five spots in the boys race, earning a perfect team score of 15.
“I felt like our team was easily going to win, but me and Gator have been competing for a while, so it was just a matter of who felt the best [today],” Walker said.
South coach Jerry Edmondson was pleased with how both of his teams ran.
“The training has been going great [with the boys] this season, and they really are motivated to finish up the remainder of the season strong,” he said, noting that the strongest competition for his boys has often come from each other this year.
“In terms of some of our smaller meets, we have found that our kids are pushing each other, and of course, you like that. That’s good competition amongst each other as a team.”
For the South girls, Edmondson said that several members of the team had been battling strep and other health issues this year, and said this was the first time the team had looked healthy.
“This was quite a surprise today, for them to be running really well,” he said.
West coach Clayton Tillery said he felt his girls — who came in with 37 points to edge South’s 38 — were capable of running better. Still, the former South coach was pleased with the result.
“For me, its nice to beat South Forsyth, because that’s where I was for so long, but its hard too, because you still have a lot of kids there and you want to see them be successful, so I guess the bottom line is, I want to see running be successful,” Tillery said.
Tillery noted that his boys team, which finished a distant second in the meet, is competing with six sophomores and a freshman.
He also said he felt like the all-around competition from the four county schools was better this year, which he takes as a sign of the improvement of the sport locally.
North Forsyth finished third in both races, while Forsyth Central brought up the rear.
The Raiders were led by Anna Sinclair, who finished fourth in her race, and Jackson Reynolds, who came in eighth on the boys side.
Top finishers for the Bulldogs were Ani Popp, sixth-place finisher for the girls, and Andrew Vonfeldt, who came in 16th.