The Cambridge Cross Country teams ended an incredible record breaking season with the best "firsts" yet: both the boys and girls teams came together to beat the predictions and bring home State Champion titles on Saturday, November 4 in Carrollton.
Boys Defeat Defending Champs and Favorite Pope
The Cambridge boys ignored the statisticians and coaches on running website ga.milesplit.com that said Pope would retain their title of 6A champions, and turned their region runner-up finish into a resounding victory at Carrollton.
Jack Filan ('19) finished in sixth place and first for Cambridge with a 16:47 school record on this notoriously tough course. He had a strong start and was up with the front pack for both laps, followed just over 10 seconds later in 16:59 by Chris Anderson ('18) in 8th place and the second Bear to make the state individual podium on Saturday.
Sophomore Anders Law helped keep a low score with a 12th place finish of 17:13, and scoring was closed out by juniors Carson Ertwine in 17:39 and Jack Donovan seconds later with a 17:43 to cinch the victory. Mark Vandewater ('19) and Zach Ellison ('18) were the final two runners, and kept the pressure on should scoring have come down to a tie breaker, with all seven boys finishing in the top 60 in a field of over 200 runners on 32 teams.
Lady Bear Seniors Run as Pack to Claim Their Title
With a season of firsts, including a Region 7 championship, the Lady Bears would need to defeat defending champions Harrison and top ranked Creekview, with two of the fastest runners in the state, to take the trophy home on Saturday.
Delaney Goodell ('19) in her first season running at Cambridge powered through the Carrollton course to bring home a 7th place individual medal in 20:23, for the CHS course record, and keep the team score low. Not far behind, a pack of three seniors stayed together, and bolstered the score when the team's usual lead runner appeared to being falling back. Lily Elston (20:51) finished tenth, and also made the individual podium, followed by Troyce Grant (20:53.03) and Chloe Phelps (20:53.51) who finished their fourth state meet in triumph with 11th and 12th place.
Region champion Ashley Sechrest ('20), struggled in lap two, but finished in 20th to close out the scoring for Cambridge, and give them the win with 59 points over Creekview's 68 points, and defending champion Harrison with 77 points. Senior Chloe Paskins (22:12) and freshman Izzy Filipek (22:30) were the final runners for Cambridge, and supported the team so that all 7 runners finished in the top 50 from a field of over 220 competitors.
Coach Brad Coulter, gathering the team after the awards, said, "We are the hardest working team in the state of Georgia. And we're not just the hardest working, we're the best! These two trophies show what you guys have done. And regardless of whether we walked away with 4th and 3rd again, I would have been just as proud of you guys. We love you guys and we're really proud. Thank you very much."
Congratulations to the Cambridge Cross Country team on their dual state championships! And thank you to the parents, runners who came out to support their teammates, and the coaches for pushing this team to a true record breaking season.