The county track and field season recently got underway, and as always, there figures to be multiple names from area schools in the fight for a state title come May. Forsyth County typically contends most strongly in distance races and a few select field events, but there are runners in almost every race with intriguing possibilities this season. Here are a few athletes to watch.
Madelynne Cadeau, Jr., South Forsyth
The reigning All-County cross country Runner of the Year is naturally most accomplished in the 3200 meters, the longest race in the outdoor track season: Cadeau finished fifth at state there last year as a sophomore. There’s just one returning runner from that race – Marietta’s Ellie Hall – in front of her, so Cadeau should be able to contend for a title. She should also be strong in shorter races, like the 1600, which she ran in 5:08.80 last spring.
Dymond Harris, Sr. Lambert
Harris looks like the strongest returning sprinter in the county’s girls ranks: She finished second in the 100 meters and third in the 200 at last year’s Region 5-7A championships. Her next goal will likely be to get to state: She narrowly missed out on qualifying in those races in 2018. Harris is another strong piece of a Lambert team that has historically had one of the county’s strongest stables of sprinters.
Laney Kronz, Jr., Forsyth Central
Kronz was the county’s best hurdler last season by a wide margin, winning both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles by a second or more at the Region 5-7A championships, and she appears to be on track to reclaim that title. The next step for her would be to reach a state final: She was 11th in the prelims of the 100 hurdles in 2018.
Chloe Cobbett, Jr., West Forsyth
Cobbett was the best all-around jumper in the region last season, finishing ninth at sectionals in the long jump and 15th in the state in triple jump, and she should reclaim that title this season. The latter event is her best, and the 36 feet, nine inch mark she set at sectionals in would likely contend for a top-10 finish at state.
McLain Meriam, Sr., Lambert
Meriam wasn’t among the county’s best throwers last season – she finished fifth in the discus at the region championships – but she just recorded a 99 foot, four inch mark at her first meet of 2019, which would have won the region title last year by almost 10 feet. A distance like that would also put her in contention for a state berth.
Calan Gizelbach, Sr., Forsyth Central
Gizelbach is set to ascend to not just the upper echelon of distance runners in the county, but in the entire state. Well, he’s already there, sort of: The University of Dayton signee finished second in the Class 7A cross country championships in the fall, so he’s ready to jump forward in track. Gizelbach’s best event will likely be the 3200, in which he finished 11th in the state in 2018.
Kyle Brown, Sr., West Forsyth
Brown, an Auburn signee, is one of a pair of elite throwers in the county. His best event is the discus, where he finished second in the state last year, five feet and four inches behind’s Westlake’s Aston Beavers. Both athletes are back for their senior season, bringing up the possibility of an intriguing showdown. Brown has already set a personal best in this young season, with a mark of 158 feet, 10 inches at a West Forsyth weekday meet.
Ridvan Kazimov, Sr., South Forsyth
Kazimov and Brown are both rivals and friends, and Kazimov is something of a counterpart to Brown’s skills. Kazimov is the better shot-putter of the two, having finished second at the state meet last year with a toss of 54 feet, 9.25 inches. He might have a slightly clearer path to a state title, as Roswell’s Nate Wonsley, last year’s Class 7A champ, has graduated.
Karthik Kochuparambil, So., Denmark
Kochuparambil was Denmark’s top cross country runner as a sophomore this fall, finishing 10th in Class 4A at the state race. Now he’s set to lead the Danes’ middle-distance squad in the spring. Kochuparambil excelled as a freshman for South last spring, finishing fifth in the 400 and second in the 800 at the region meet, and his PR of 1:57.84 in the latter race at last spring’s sectionals got him fifth. That time would have been good for eighth in the state in Class 4A last spring.
Jalen Battle, Jr., Lambert
Sprinters win team titles, because sprinters get points, and Battle should give the Longhorns plenty of those. He’s a good 400-meter runner, having finished sixth in the region in that race in 2018, and a better jumper, having finished sixth in the state in the high jump with a mark of six feet, two inches. Battle set a personal best of 6-4 at an indoor meet in January, and that mark would have tied him for second in the state last spring.