Forsyth County Track and Field Championships
When, where: Monday and Thursday, 4:30 p.m., at West Forsyth High School
Last year’s winners: Girls — North Forsyth; Boys — South Forsyth.
All six county high school track and field programs will participate in next week’s Forsyth County Championships. The event will be held on Monday and Thursday at West Forsyth.
"This is a great chance for everyone to see how they stack up against each other," said Central coach Derek Shelton. "We’re very much looking forward to it."
Central knows what it takes to win heading into the County Championship having won the Pickens County Invitational last fall. More recently, the Bulldogs did well at the Amicalola Invitational and Creekview Invitational, earning multiple top three finishes in both.
Bonnie McKinnon, Chelsea Lowe, Max Warner and Neo Wilde are all Bulldogs to keep an eye on. Warner owns the school records in the 800-meter, 1,600 and 3,200 and hopes to break a county record this weekend.
"I feel that we’ve had the best year Central’s had in quite a while," said Shelton. "We’re young with no girl seniors and just four boy seniors, but they’re getting after it and working hard."
Guided by head coach Neil Matheson, North Forsyth is in good spirits heading into next week. The Raiders’ boys, stacked with plenty of seniors who have competed for all four years of eligibility, figure to contend for the title. Meanwhile, North’s girls will look to continue to improve upon past results.
"I feel like our boys are a strong team going in," said Matheson. "If everyone shows up and does their best, they’ll do well and can definitely win it. It all depends on the day of the meet."
Tanner Riddle is one of the Raiders’ most valuable competitors and should fare well this weekend. He won twice at the Amicalola Invitational in the 110 and 300 hurdles, and will participate in each of those events at the County Championship.
The favorite heading into the championship remains West, which boasts skilled and veteran-laden groups in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. The girls are considered the best in the county by a considerable margin.
"They’re definitely the team to beat," Matheson said of the Wolverines. "They’re expected to win, and it will be tough to unseat them."
West is coming off some impressive performances, including a strong showing at a Lambert All-Comers Meet, where it had a whopping 12 first-place finishes. Among the abundance of talented Wolverines are Lauren Fletcher, Julie Ericson, Liz Galarza, Brett Gammon and Miles Duncan.
South may not be the heavyweight of the county, but the War Eagles certainly possess a dangerous roster. They have a tendency to show up in big events such as this one, and should pose a threat to West.
"South will come in strong," said Matheson. "They always surprise us at the county meet and record some of their best times there."
Lambert isn’t considered a favorite at the county event, but the Longhorns could compete for first place in several events. Dorothy Tam won the girls’ pole vault and Jonathan Schwind won the 800 at the Lambert All-Comers Meet. Additionally, the boys’ team took first in the 1,600 relay.
Pinecrest’s teams may not have the depth of the county’s other five high schools, but the Paladins do have Jessica Zalzman, who was one of Georgia’s top cross country runners in Class A this past fall.
She and teammate Rebbekah Hetzel could do some damage, as could William McCormick and Garrett Ruff.