Madelynne Cadeau isn’t exactly a trendsetter. She’s the latest in an ever-extensive list of recent South Forsyth girls distance runners among the state’s elites, with Cadeau’s third-place finish in this year’s Class 7A state championship race catapulting her into that territory.
But she might be the most passionate and ambitious runner the War Eagles have had. Cadeau isn’t just looking towards running in college: She wants to go pro. And running isn’t just any extracurricular pursuit or extra padding for college applications.
“I love running so much,” Cadeau said. “I’m constantly thinking about it, thinking about ways to make myself a stronger runner, constantly looking things up and trying to figure out more about the sport.”
It wasn’t a lifelong passion for Cadeau, who joined South’s team as a sophomore after moving from Tennessee. She was a strong runner there, but with the War Eagles, she found a level of commitment and seriousness with her teammates and coaches that drew her much deeper into the sport.
“Getting to see people achieve great things and hear of people’s stories, it made me think, ‘I want to do that,’” Cadeau said.
While Cadeau’s talent was evident in 2017, adverse circumstances prevented it from shining fully. She finished fifth overall in the area championships, but in the ensuing weeks, she sustained a stress fracture in her fibia.
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Cadeau didn’t see sitting out state as an option, so she rested the for the two weeks before the area meet and state. It was clear that she wasn’t at full physical strength in the state race, as she finished 62nd overall, with a time three-and-a-half minutes slower than her area mark.
The outdoor season showed that Cadeau was back, as she finished fifth in Class 7A in the 3200 meters, setting a personal best by more than 20 seconds in the race. Heading into this fall, she intensified basically every part of her process, from training to nutrition, and she was the War Eagles’ top finisher in every race this season.
Cadeau’s finish at state was still a minor disappointment, as it fell short of her goal of a state title, but she still has the bigger picture of the race in mind.
“I was three seconds off, and there were two seniors that were phenomenal runners that were ahead of me,” Cadeau said. “I think that I definitely have a chance next year to compete for it.”
It certainly won’t be something Cadeau takes lightly, much like her approach to the sport as a whole.
“Every since I’ve moved here, I’ve been pretty obsessed with it,” Cadeau said.