Reece Cato, a few of his West Forsyth teammates and a couple of runners from South Forsyth and Denmark stood at the starting line on Tuesday night, waiting to run a 3,200 meter race in cold rain, with only a few people still left in the stands watching.
The actual 3,200 meter race had been cancelled: The 2019 Forsyth County track and field championships ended early after the boys 200. Cato finished fourth in the 1,600 meter run earlier in the day, falling down and scraping his leg while trying to outlean an opponent, but he still wanted to race the 3,200, even if it didn’t count.
“I just thought it was going to be fun,” Cato said. “I’d never run a two-mile in the rain before.”
That unofficial race was a fitting victory lap for West Forsyth on an unusual competition day, with races being held in pouring rain and even through the distraction of a car fire in the parking lot. The Wolverines did what they had to do to stay in front of Lambert, with the boys scoring 106 points and the girls notching 144 to hoist both championship trophies.
“I'm pleased because of the balance that we're starting to find between our field events, our sprint events and our distance events,” West Forsyth girls track and field coach Clayton Tillery said. “I'm extremely pleased that we're just competitive. The schools in our county are very good teams. Lambert's been the class of the field so whether the meet's finished or not finished, to be with them is a good marker for us headed into spring break.”
For West’s girls, freshman Grace Mangan was a key factor in their win. She earned first in the girls 100 and 200 meter dash, and helped the Wolverines to a second place finish in the 4 x 100 meter relay. Abigail Robertson placed first in the girls pole vault and third in the discus throw.
West’s boys weren’t able to do their vaults with the boys competition being cancelled, but had enough standout performances to win. Abraham Camara placed first in the boys long jump and won the 100 meter dash in 11.26, edging Denmark’s Mason Harris, who placed second in the 200. Lambert's boys, who scored 93 points, weren't far behind. Jalen Battle won the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 4 inches, tying a personal best.
Denmark may have placed last in its first year competing in the championship, but the Danes still had some notable results. Along with Harris’ performance, Karthik Kochuparambil placed second in the boys 1,600 meter run and first in the 800 meter race.
The county’s top cross country runners did predictably well in their respective 1,600 meter runs – Forsyth Central’s Calan Gizelbach took first by seven seconds, with a time of 4:19.16. South Forsyth’s Madelynne Cadeau’s margin of victory was even greater, crossing the finish line in 5:03.14.
North Forsyth had some success in their running events, winning the boys 4 x 100 meter relay, Trevor Elliot winning the 400 meter dash, and Bryson Trigg capping the night with a 200 meter win. Some of the races the Raiders have run well this year were cut on Tuesday, though, and that's something they and West will hope to rectify later.
“It would have been really fun just to see those kids get to race it out, but we've got region coming," Tillery said.
Final team standings
1. West Forsyth, 106
2. Lambert, 93
3. North Forsyth, 70
3. South Forsyth, 70
4. Forsyth Central, 67
5. Denmark, 62
1. West Forsyth, 144
2. Lambert, 113.5
3. South Forsyth, 78
4. Forsyth Central, 58
5. North Forsyth, 46.5
6. Denmark, 37