CANTON — Forsyth County’s cross country teams performed well on a chilly and rainy morning at Boling Park in Canton on Saturday, with South Forsyth, West Forsyth and Lambert all clinching state appearances at the Area 3-7A meet.
The War Eagles took home the area championship for the girls race with 52 points, and South’s boys weren’t far behind them, ending their day as the runners-up with 59 points, just two points behind first place Walton. West’s boys and girls finished third and second, respectively, while Lambert placed fourth and fifth in the boys and girls races.
While South couldn’t capture both team titles, the War Eagles’ Madelynne Cadeau (17:52.9) and Brennan Bower (15:46.5) finished their races as the area’s individual champions. Cadeau, who finished second at last year’s race, was never really challenged this time around, with a comfortable lead by the end of the first lap. Her time tied her personal record from last year.
“The whole time, I was just trying to stay on a certain pace and just push myself to try to catch the biker in front of me,” Cadeau said. “I was just working on pushing through to the finish line. I feel like I might have had a little bit left — maybe if someone was next to me, we could have pushed it to the end. But I was feeling good.”
While Cadeau’s victory was an expected one, Bower made quite the jump from last year, when he finished 14th. His race was much closer, but he did what he could to stay ahead.
“They tried making moves on the first lap and I just matched it,” Bower said. “I knew I was going to run a good race because every time they were trying to make a move I could match it pretty easily.”
But as the race drew to a close, Walton’s Connor Old was closing in. Bower turned on the jets and sprinted the short distance to the finish, ultimately besting him by two seconds.
“I heard it getting louder and I was like, ‘Oh shoot, he's catching up,’” Bower said. “So I had to go full out there.
“It's just nice to cap off four years. I started in the 20s my freshman year and to get up to here, it's a big jump for me. It's kind of cool.”
Sophia Baker (18:57.3) and Carmel Yonas (19:05.4) finished fourth and sixth for South’s girls. Cooper Bocko (15:56.5) was Lambert’s top runner with his third place finish in the boys race, followed by West’s Reece Cato (16.04.8) and Josh Whedbee (16:00.7), who finished fifth and seventh. North Forsyth’s Caleb Hall (16:01.6) qualified for state with his sixth place result.
“The competition was so close today,” West head coach Clayton Tillery said. “We’re really happy with the position of our fifth place runners, points wise. Our sixth place runners were pushing points where they needed to. We go to the state meet with a chance. There's a few other folks who will figure in, but if we measure up good against these people we're going to be just fine here in a few weeks.”