West Forsyth's Liz Galarza led the way Saturday, finishing second place--higher than any Forsyth County runner in either the boy's or girl's race--to help lead the Wolverines to the Class 7A state meet, while Lambert's boys took the Area 4-5 7A title by edging Milton.
Galarza finished just six-tenths of a second away from a gold medal, as Etowah's Macki Walsh won the event with a time of 17:53.94 (Galarza came in at 17:54.56). South Forsyth's Kaylee DuPont followed closely behind, finishing third with a time of 18:09.24. On the boy's side, Lambert's Tyler Fox led all county runners with a third place finish (15:49.43), with teammate Lee Keil trailing right behind in fourth at 15:52.04.
Forsyth Central's Calan Gizelbach just mad the cut for the Bulldogs, placing 12th and earning a state appearance as an individual.
Overall, Lambert, South and West qualified both the boys and girls teams for the state meet, which will be held at Carrollton High School Nov. 4 and 5. To qualify as a team, the groups had to finish in the top six out of a 12-team field that combined the schools from Forsyth County's Area 5-7A and Area 4-7A, which includes east Cobb and Cherokee schools.
Below is a complete list of qualifying teams and individual qualifiers. Any runner whose team did not place for state could get an automatic bid by placing 12th or higher as an individual. The top six teams from each region advance to the state meet.
Boys Area 4, 5-7A Qualifiers
1. Lambert (53), 2. Milton (68), 3. Walton (85), 4. South Forsyth (104), 5. Woodstock (128), 6. West Forsyth (141)
Individuals in top 12: 3. Tyler Fox (Lambert), 15:49.43; 4. Lee Keil (Lambert), 15:52.04; 8. Byron Grogan (Lambert), 16:02.89; 9. Matt Patterson (South), 16:08.93; 12. Calan Gizelbach (Central), 16:12.46
Girls Area 4, 5-7A Qualifiers
1. Milton (53), 2. South Forsyth (60), 3. West Forsyth (108), 4. Walton (119), 5. Lambert (139), 6. Woodstock (144)
Individuals in top 12: 2. Liz Galarza (West), 17:54.56; 3. Kaylee DuPont (South), 18:09.24, 8. Millicent Bergey (South), 18:54.19; 11. Aleesa de Castro (South), 19:07.05