Posted: Sep 13, 2019
After a break over the long weekend, the cross country team traveled to Carrollton for the first of three back to back weekends of racing. Carrollton is the site of the state meet each year, so provides a preview of one of the more difficult courses in Georgia to the team as a whole, and the varsity runners in particular. This meet is also unique in that they break races down by classification, as well as having an overall 'championship' race, which allowed the Bears to have 7 runners in the first 6A-7A varsity race, as well as the top 7 runners compete in the Championship varsity race.
The first two races were the 6A-7A varsity races, and with an 8am start time for the boys' race, they had the best course conditions with cooler temperatures. Senior and team captain Josh Gargan, in his first race of the season coming off the injured list, led the team and finished in 5th place to earn a top finisher medal. Juniors Caelan and Colby Jones finished in 21st and 22nd, followed by Boston Grant('21) in 38th and captain Yahya Merchant('20) in 48th to close out the scoring. The team finished in 5th place, and third out of the 6A schools. At 8:30am temperatures were rising, and the second race started, the girls' 6A-7A varsity race. Leading this group was sophomore and XC newcomer Camila Montes, finishing in 5th place in a field of 117 runners. Also scoring for the Lady Bears were Emily Meeker ('22) in 17th, Sarah Anderson('20) in 22nd, captain Leah Capomaccio ('20) in 31st, and Faith Hirschi ('22) in 49th. The team score of 118 earned 5th place in a field of 15 teams from both 6A and 7A.
The heat and humidity really started to kick in during the Championship Varsity races at 9 and 9:30. The boys' race started off strong, but thinned out faster than the 6A-7A race as it become more important to race for place than time for a team trophy. The bears scoring was led by captain Anders Law ('20) who finished strong in 13th place with a time of 17:02, a personal best for this course by over 10 seconds despite the weather. Sophomore Lyle Donovan finished in 21st, only 12 seconds behind Anders, and then a minute later Adam Schaich('20) crossed the line in 84th place, followed seconds later by Will Carrow ('20) edging out Cole Suplee('21) at the finish for 101st and 102nd places and closing the scoring for the Bears at 317 points and 11th place. The Lady Bears struggled a bit more with the heat, but maintaining a tight pack of 5 for over a mile helped to earn their 9th place finish as a team out of a field of 31 teams across all classifications. Captain Ashley Sechrest ('20) led the team and remained near the front of the race throughout, finishing in 4th, and was followed by freshman Anna Filipek finished in 15th. The other three Lady Bears to cross the line and contribute to the team score were Kathryn Suplee ('21), Afton Hirschi ('20) and Isabel Filipek ('21) in 60th, 88th, and 105th.
At the blazing heat continued, the final three races kicked off at noon. First was the boys' championship JV race, and the Bears earned the 2nd place trophy finishing their first five runners in the top 20. They were led by Justin Doering ('21) who finished in 5th, with Braden Hobbs ('22) in 9th also receiving a top 10 finisher medal. Oscar Ng ('21) and Colin Shin ('20) finished in 14th and 15th and Matthew DiPietro('21) rounded out the scoring in 18th. For the girls, where only 2 out of 13 teams had all seven runners finish the race due to the heat, captain Lily Parzych ('20) finished in 7th place to earn a medal, and was followed by sophomores Disha Baglodi in 26th, Larkin Wynn in 28th and Kendall Clemmer in 30th.
The final race of the day was kicked off at 1pm, with the remaining runners from both the boys and the girls teams racing together. The Cambridge boys had 8 runners finish in the top 20, to win first place as a team. Led by George Tindle ('22) in 3rd place, with Luis Fettes ('23) just two seconds behind him in fourth. Ashton Foraker earned a 3rd medal for the team with his 8th place finish, and was followed in 12th through 14th place by William Floyd ('22), Reese Uribe ('22) and Davis Bartels ('21). Juniors Keagan Goodell and Mohammed Fahmy also finished in 17th and 19th to round out the top 20 in a field of over 150 competitors. The girls were led by freshman Irene Palacios-Rodriguez who earned a third place medal, with Summer Merrill ('23) in 12th place, followed by Ava Sanchez('23) and Paige Consolo ('22) in 20th and 23rd. Scoring was completed by senior Audrey Duke in 28th but Sarah Meredith ('22) was less than 0.3 seconds behind her for 29th.
This was a great preview of the state course meet, but the team is looking forward to a race a bit closer to home at Boling Park in Canton this upcoming weekend on September 14. The Warpath Invitational will be a meet with many more 6A competitors to help the team gauge the competition for the region and state meets that end the season. The first starting gun will go off at 8am with the girls' varsity race, and the last race at 11am for a shorter and faster day.
Let's go Bears!