7A Girls 'Toe the Line'
(all photos by Dan McCauley except Hillgrove team pic)
7A Champs Hillgrove
Hillgrove HS, out of (Powder Springs) near 6 Flags in South Cobb County, rose up and raced to their full potential this Saturday, seizing their very first 2019 7A Girls cross county team title. Having a strong frontrunner is a big help, as Gracie Ellsworth (UGA bound) made her way through the lead pack and eventually finished 3rd overall clocking a 19:30. The bigger story were the Hawks' 2-4 harriers, finishing in spots 9-13 putting them in great position to win a title. Ava Brooks was 9th overall in 19:41, Sierra Wehrenberg took 10th in 19:43 and Lizzie Smith placed 13th at 20:06. It was an incredibly tight race for the next 3 team Podium spots, with South Forsyth emerging a 7A runnerups with 90 points, led by Overall champ, senior Madelynne Cadeau, as she owned this race from the onset taking the title unchallenged clocking a 18:46. Walton HS bested West Forsyth by 1 point to secure 3rd on the Team Podium.
Madelynne Cadeau works the hill
The girls start was recalled (which got booed) after they were stopped almost 200m away after passing the rocks on the hill at the first turn. A large pack of 12-15 girls crested 'Elementary Hill' and flew down the long side of the hill led by Madelynne Cadeau of South Forsyth, Nyah Hernandez of Milton and Sarah McCartney of Archer. Cadeau split Mile 1 at 5:51, with Hernandez (5:54) Cadeau led by 20m after cresting 'Separation Slope' and built her lead to 50m beginning loop 2 over June Mwaniki of Marietta. Hillgrove looked to maybe have the lead as a team at this point.. At the 2 mile Cadeau was maintaining her lead, Mwaniki a solid 2nd. But, moving up were Grace Ellsworth of Hillgrove, Sarah Burwell of Walton and Emily Golden of Tift County. This order held true to the finish line with Ellsworth scoring 3 huge team points for the Hawks.
Walton's girls were motivated not to be outdone by their male counterparts, but a 3rd place team finish capped off a great State meet for their XC program only 9 points in back of South Forsyth. Jr. Sarah Burwell ignited the Raiders' efforts after she placed 4th overall at 19:31. West Forsyth, who has a very large program (and the loudest cheering section) of all GHSA XC schools, was a only a point back of South Forsyth. Sr. Ashley Hannigan was the Wolverines top harrier placing 7th at State in 19:34. Rounding out the top 10, not mentioned above, are Emily Golden of Tift County 5th (19:33), Nyah Hernandez of Milton 6th (19:34)