The Cambridge Cross Country teams are once again headed to the state championship meet in Carrollton, with the girls capturing the first region title in CXC history, and the boys finishing as runners up to defending region champs, Pope, in a very tight battle at the GA Region 7 AAAAAA XC Championship held on October24th at Webb Bridge Park in Alpharetta.
The Lady Bears topped off a great season of firsts, with three runners on the All-Region first team, and the 4th and 5th scoring runners on the All-Region second team, to win first place with just 31 points. In comparison, 2nd place team Johns Creek had 67 points. Sophomore Ashley Sechrest led the field as they left the starting area and entered the main trail at Webb Bridge Park, where a meet has not been held since 2011 when Fulton County championships were regularly held there. She continued to widen the gap over the two laps, and finished in 19:12 with a new personal best and school record, to beat last year's region champion and runner-up by over 9 seconds. This is the third fastest time for a girls cross country 5K at the park. Junior Delaney Goodell maintained second place for much of the hilly course, and finished 0.01 seconds ahead of senior Lily Elston as they captured 5th and 6th place to finish out the list of individual qualifiers for state. Senior Captain Chloe Phelps and freshmen Izzy Filipek ended strong to seal the first place win for the team capturing 8th and 11th place. The group also included Senior Captain Chloe Paskins and junior Clarissa Beck.
The Varsity Boys teamed up before the meet to dye their hair in solidarity. Junior Jack Filan took first place honors by starting out strong, continuing to widen his lead while traversing the 5K mostly gravel course, and setting a new Webb Bridge Park course record of 15:47. The previous record was set in 2007. Senior Captain Chris Anderson (16:27) placed fifth and also individually qualified for the state meet. Sophomore Anders Law (16:43) made the 2nd team All Region with a great sprint to the finish for 10th place. Juniors Carson Ertwine (16:57) and Jack Donovan (17:03) also finished in the top 20. The "golden haired" boys also included Senior Captain Zach Ellison and junior Mark Van de Water. The Varsity Boys finished four points behind Pope and will challenge them again at the state meet.
The JV Girls captured first place with 28 points to Alpharetta's 65 points, led by senior Troyce Grant (20:37) and sophomore Afton Hirschi (20:55). The two packed a 1-2 punch to finish well ahead of the other runners in the field, and were followed by junior Isabel Suero (21:40) finishing fourth overall. The scoring was supported by sophomore and first year CXC runner, Michaela Prevallet in 10th, and sophomore Julianna Finnelli less than 1/100th of a second behind in 11th, and both setting personal records. Other JV runners with personal records included junior Amanda Leekley (23:13) and freshman Emma Flynn (23:23).
The JV Boys, like the Varsity Boys, also had a tight battle with Pope High School. Their scoring was helped tremendously by sophomores Deacon Law (17:30) and Josh Gargan (17:37) finishing in 2nd and 3rd place. Not far behind in 9th and 10th place were junior Tanner LeeMaster (18:00) with a PR and freshman Erik Holmen (18:08). Kaine Dudley (18:37) finished out the scoring in 20th place. JV Boys with new personal records also included Colin Shin (18:59).
Senior Katie Fishman (24:57) finished out a great season and led the Lady Bears to a third place finish in the co-ed Open competition. Other scoring runners included junior Lauren Harris, junior Amber Brown running a personal record 25:16, senior captain Kai Abiola, and sophomore Lily Parzych who set a personal record of 25:19. Personal records were also set by sophomores Camryn Quam (25:37) and Audrey Duke (26:56), freshman Ashley Smith (27:58) and Zainab Shaik (28:40), senior Bella Bruin (28:42), sophomore Mia Danner (30:21), and freshman newcomer Aditi Paknikar (30:25).
The first race of the day was a rocky start for the boys as the leaders actually ran an extra 100m. Freshmen Justin Doering (19:16) won first place, edging out classmate Colby Jones (19:20), who had led much of the Open race and ran a personal best time. Not far behind, and also running a PR was junior William Goldscheitter (19:45) in fourth place. Sophomores Yahyah Merchant (20:08) and Ethan Danciak (20:10) finished out the scoring for the Bears by placing 10th and 14th. Also having great races and setting personal records were junior Daniel Malone (20.38), senior Jacob Ulman (20:50), sophomore Matthew Meeker (20:55), freshman Robert Townsend (22:00), freshman Huzaifa Khan (22:48), junior Gareth Bloemeke (24:42), freshman Dev Shah (25:05), and freshman Jack Quisito (26:24).
The XC Bears last race of the season is on Saturday, November 4th, at the GHSA State Championships at the Carrollton Course in Carrollton, GA. The Varsity Boys race 12:30 pm; the Varsity Girls race at 1:15 pm. For more details on the race, please visit: https://www.ghsa.net/ghsa-state-cross-country-championships
Region 7 AAAAAA Champions
(L to R): Troyce Grant ('18), Chloe Paskins ('18, Captain), Delaney Goodell ('19), Lily Eltson ('18), Ashley Sechrest ('20), Izzy Filipek ('21), Afton Hirschi ('20), Clarissa Beck ('19), Chloe Phelps ('18, Captain)