Among Georgia high school cross country runners to never win an individual state championship, perhaps South Forsyth senior Savannah Carnahan is the best – ever?
Consider her career accolades: a region champion in 2013 and runner-up in 2014 and 2015; a three-time top-10 finisher at the state meet, including a runner-up finish this past season; a three-time All-Metro Team selection by the Atlanta Track Club; and now this, her third straight year selected as the Forsyth County News’ Girls Runner of the Year.
But the Furman University signee is most proud of the progress her Lady War Eagles’ team has made during his high school career, from a 17th-place finish her freshman season to placing second in Class AAAAAA this past season for the second consecutive year.
“We all did our best,” Carnahan said, “we all ran our hardest.”
But none harder than Carnahan.
Question: Looking back on your senior season, how would you describe it?
Carnahan: “Obviously, after the state meet I was a little disappointed that I didn’t win state being a senior, my last chance. But then three weeks later, training really hard between then, I made it to [Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships], which has been my biggest goal since freshman year.”
Q: What about the season for your team as a whole?
Carnahan: “The four of us [Carnahan, Milicent Bergey, Kaylee DuPont and Emma Maisel] were definitely looking for a No. 5. We had three girls working really hard, doing their best to help us shore that up. It ended up not being enough at state, but we all did our best, we all ran our hardest. We lost because we were legitimately not as good as the other team. It was better than last year, because last year we had some rough patches. But this year we all ran our best, and that’s really what matters.”
Q: You’ve had a remarkable career. How do you want to be remembered in Forsyth County?
Carnahan: “One of the biggest things is when I came to South my freshman year, as a team we weren’t very good at all. We got 17th at state. We kind of caught a vision to push through for the team.
“I know as an individual I had a lot of accomplishments, but it’s so much more fun to accomplish with the team and share that with others. I really hope our team continues to be really good.”
Q: So next you’ll be off to Furman. What do you hope to accomplish there?
Carnahan: “That’s another place where it’s definitely a team thing. I want to have individual accomplishments – make it to NCAAs as an individual – but I want to be able to make it with my team and be able to perform really, really well as a team, see if we can win Nationals. We have a great [recruiting] class coming in. It’s really exciting. We’re helping to build the program.”