East Forsyth senior Alex Arrambide earned a hard-fought win in the season-opening event for several local cross country teams Saturday during the Pickens Preview at Roper Park in Jasper.
Competing in a race with 214 runners, representing 33 different schools, Arrambide was the only boy to break the 16-minute mark, crossing the finish line with a time of 15:54.9. The Class 3A runner-up in 2021, Arrambide beat out second-place finisher Noah Martinson of Carrollton by 7.8 seconds.
While East Forsyth wound up 16th in the boys standings, six total Forsyth County teams earned top-10 finishes across both varsity races.
Four of those top-10 placements came in the boys event, where West Forsyth (193 points), Lambert (224) and South Forsyth (226) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. North Forsyth snagged a 10th-place showing with 364 points.
For the Wolverines, Diego Fernandes placed sixth, Cole Schmoyer came in 12th and Aidan Portelli finished 24th.
Patrick Lawson paced Lambert, crossing the finish line 28th overall. Bryce Hague and Colin Nicholason finished in quick succession, placing 43rd and 44th, respectively, for the Longhorns.
Despite being without its top runner, Ben Bergy, South Forsyth still produced a top-10 individual finish from Ben Winn, who placed eighth. Adam Zorko (39th) was next to cross for the War Eagles, with Wyatt Longstreth (47th) also garnering a top-50 placement.
The Raiders were led by Brock Casey and his 32nd overall finish.
On the girls side, South Forsyth garnered third place with 72 points. The War Eagles received a big boost from the Yonas sisters, with senior Carmel (19:22.4) finishing runner-up and junior Isabel (19:46.4) placing fifth. Paige Harden, Caroline Turner and Molly Hanlon all earned top-25 individual finishes, placing between 21st and 24th.
West Forsyth also put together a strong performance, coming in seventh with 205 points. Lily Flood paced the Wolverines with a 28th-place showing. Three other West Forsyth runners — Tess Krogman (39th), Katherine Bottoms (40th) and Ryleigh Nix (45th) — landed top-50 finishes.
Fideles Christian's boys team wound up 25th out of 31 scoring teams, with sophomore Jacob Tarkington manufacturing a strong 17th-place individual finish.
The Rangers didn't have enough girls to produce a team score. Freshman Sarah Utz led the four Fideles participants, placing 96th out of 197 competitors.
East Forsyth and North Forsyth's girls teams did have enough runners to garner a team score. The Broncos placed 23rd, while the Raiders finished 26th. Rebecca Wade paced East Forsyth, coming in 89th overall. Kamila Zurita (112th) led North Forsyth.
Lambert's girls team didn't participate in the event.