CARROLLTON — Forsyth County’s cross country teams heard their names called quite a bit during the GHSA state meet in Carrollton on Friday and Saturday.
South Forsyth’s Madelynne Cadeau highlighted the county’s heavy presence on the medal stand, as the junior earned her first individual state title with a time of 18:46.37. Cadeau’s title was the only one the county earned, but her War Eagles finished second as a team, while Denmark's and Lambert’s boys earned runner-up spots as well. West Forsyth’s boys and girls ended their appearances with third and fourth place finishes, respectively.
“I'm super proud of them,” South Forsyth head coach Christine Shaw said of her girls. “They did what we came here to do, they ran strong. That's all I can ask for.”
Cadeau put together the only sub-19 minute run in the entire Class 7A girls race and was never really challenged for her top spot — she finished 29 seconds ahead of the second place runner, Marietta’s June Mwaniki.
“We knew she would go out and take the lead,” Shaw said. “She was racing the clock. We kind of hoped there'd be a couple of other people to push her a little bit more, but she wanted that individual championship. She's been waiting on that for a couple of years now.
“We kind of expected that she would take off. She had been talking about it, but we didn't think by that much.”
Cadeau, who battled an iron deficiency this year, felt the fatigue of the hilly terrain, but that didn’t come close to stopping her from a goal that she just barely missed out on last year.
“Around the second lap, I could start feeling it for sure,” she said. “I just pushed through it and finished here.”
On Friday, Denmark earned its first-ever top-three finish at the state meet, with Ethan Ashley (16:52.33) and Karthik Kochuparambil (17:17.38) placing fourth and 13th overall, respectively.
Lambert’s team placement wasn’t new, though. The boys’ second place finish on Saturday was its third straight runner-up result at the state meet, and while that’s quite an accomplishment, it’s not the one the Longhorns have worked for.
“We're a little disappointed, but we just got beat,” Lambert head coach James Tigue said. “Walton was on — they looked great. I don't know if we could have done much different. It was a great year, great group of kids. It's just back to the drawing board now.
“I didn't think we ran bad. We just couldn't match them, that's all. We had two seniors in the top seven, so we're returning most of our kids. They're upset, they wanted to win, but the good news is they're pretty motivated right now.”
North Forsyth and Pinecrest Academy each had a single runner qualify. The Paladins’ Drew Lair (18:10.84) finished 29th in the Class 1A Private boys race on Friday, while the Raiders’ Caleb Hall (17:00.20) finished 22nd in Class 7A. West’s Ashley Hannigan (19:34.91) locked up seventh place in the Class 7A girls race, while South’s Sophia Baker (19:39.86) finished seventh.