Woodstock’s Sumner takes eighth place at state meet

Woodstock’s Sumner takes eighth place at state meet

Woodstock’s Sumner takes eighth place at state meet

Woodstock’s Brynne Sumner continued the excellent start to her career with a second-straight top-10 finish at the cross country state championships.

After finishing 10th last year as a freshman, Sumner finished eighth Friday in Carrollton, finishing the Class AAAAAAA race in 19 minutes, 57.03 seconds.

“She keeps getting better, and she seems to peak at the right time every year,” Woodstock coach Kirk Scharich said. “She ran really smart, too. She was 25th at the mile and 19th at the 2-mile. I think, if the race was another 200 yards, she would have a shot at top-five. She was just finishing that strong.”

As a team, Woodstock finished 12th with 304 points, behind leaders South Forsyth (74), Brookwood (128) and Walton (143).

Anna Burnett (44th, 21:33.68). Anna Bailey (75th, 22:21.91), Gwen Setlock (77th, 22:23.26) and Hannah Everest (112th, 23:15.62) also contributed to Woodstock’s performance.

“I was hoping for a top-10,” Scharich said. “I thought that might have been a stretch, but even just making it out of our competitive area was big. Our top five will all be back again next year, so I think this experience will help our young team in the future.”

Coming off an Area 3AAAAAAA championship, Etowah senior Macki Walsh capped her high school career in 14th in 20:23.04. Teammate Sydney Runyan also ran well, finishing 20th in 20:43.48.

Though Etowah failed to qualify as a team, Walsh and Runyan made it in as individuals after finishing in the top 12 at the area meet.

The Eagles also had a good individual performance from Nick Cooke in the boys race.

Running as an individual had little effect on the senior, who finished 12th in 16:25.12.

Woodstock finished 16th with 380 points, well behind leaders Lambert (71), Brookwood (98) and Milton (124).

The Wolverines’ chances took a hit when their top two runners, Austin Bailey and Josiah Jaqua, came down with illnesses before the race. Scharich, though, was pleased with the way his other runners stepped up.

“It was something we haven’t had to deal with all season,” he said. “Those two have run well in really every race. I think we could have been top-six with them at 100 percent, but I liked what I saw from some of our other guys we needed to perform.”

Evan Cowart led the Wolverines in 36th at 17:26.69. Patrick Nolen (51st, 17:40.88), Matt Shear (99th, 18:31.06), Jaqua (114th, 18:55.13) and Jacob Rigsby (115th, 18:59.44) rounded out Woodstock’s scoring. Bailey did not compete.

The state championships will conclude today with the Class AAAAAA boys and girls races at 11 a.m., and 11:45 a.m., respectively.

The Creekview girls are expected to be among the lead contenders in their race, while the Creekview boys also qualified. River Ridge’s Robert Zell and Sequoyah’s Bradshaw Lathbury will run individually.

Creekview freshman Hernandez storms to state championship with 22-second victory

Creekview freshman Hernandez storms to state championship with 22-second victory creekviewCarlton D. White
Creekview’s Nyah Hernandez had no competition around her Saturday as she neared the finish line of the Class AAAAAA state championship. The Lady Grizzlies’ star freshman won the title by more than 22 seconds, though the team ultimately had to settle for seventh overall.

Already a county and Region 6AAAAAA champion, Creekview freshman Nyah Hernandez added the ultimate prize Saturday, dominating the Class AAAAAA state championship in Carrollton.

Hernandez blew away her competition, finishing in 19 minutes, 30.25 seconds — more than 22 seconds ahead of the next runner, region rival Kira Stanley of Harrison (19:52.88).

“I was nervous at the beginning,” Hernandez said. “It was one of my goals to win, but I thought it would be pretty hard. I knew I probably had a chance when I started getting some space on the other girl about halfway through the race.”

Hernandez found herself in the front pack early on, but it did not faze her. Instead, she said it gave her extra energy, because it was right where she wanted to be.

“I wanted to stay at the front,” Hernandez said. “I wanted to go up the hills fast and go down the hills fast to try to get a lead.”

Though Creekview had the fastest runner, it could not match the depth of other teams, such as champion Harrison, and finished seventh overall.

“I expected us to finish a little higher,” Creekview coach Travis Pope said. “We finished second last year and had some runners back. We’re still young, though. We have 14 of our top 15 coming back, and I hope we can use the experience from this meet to build on next year.”

Molly Morris (35th, 21:32.82) was Creekview’s next finisher, followed by Izzy Hurdle (47th, 21:57.04), Anna Hyde (70th, 22:48.26) and Alysa Miles (79th, 23:00.41).

On the boys side, Creekview finished 12th, but it was just 28 points from a top-10 finish.

The Grizzlies were led by Dylan Frausto (30th, 17:43.21) and Zac Cantrell (38th, 17:53.62). Chris Youngblood (63rd, 18:25.65), Jake Kenney (75th, 18:37.87) and Jonathan Cook (96th, 18:54.01) also contributed.

“It was a lot like with the girls,” Pope said. “I expected us to finish a little higher. The course was really tough, and I don’t think we were necessarily prepared for it. I thought the boys ran hard, though, just like they had all season for us.”

River Ridge’s Robert Zell and Sequoyah’s Bradshaw Lathbury ran in the race as individuals, with Zell finishing 47th (18:06.96) and Lathbury 49th (18:07.79).



Creekview, Woodstock runners prepare for Carrollton

Creekview, Woodstock runners prepare for Carrollton


Katheryn Ingall
With a talented group of runners that include Izzy Hurdle, and star freshman Nyah Hernandez, Creekview coach Travis Pope feels his team can vie for a State Title.


By Alex Resnak

The boys and girls teams from both Creekview and Woodstock will race for a state championship at this week’s cross country championships in Carrollton.

Woodstock will compete Friday in the Class AAAAAAA races, while Creekview will race Saturday in Class AAAAAA.

The Creekview boys advanced after winning the Region 6AAAAAA championship. Led by third-place finisher Zac Cantrell, Creekview placed all five of its scoring runners — including Dylan Frausto, Jake Kenney, Wade Whitfield and Chris Youngblood — in the top 15.

Coach Travis Pope said it will be even more important to have the team running together this week.

“Everyone sticking together is going to be important,” Pope said. “I think we’ve really been improving as a team all season with all of our runners. If we can keep that up, I think we have a chance to finish in the top five or even make the podium.”

Creekview’s girls finished second in the region championship to earn a spot in Carrollton, where they finished second last year.

“I would expect us to do even better,” Pope said, sporting high expectations, despite the team’s relative lack of experience. “I would think the favorites going in are us and Harrison. They got the better of us at region, but we’ve run well all year and even beat them a few times. I think our experience from last year should help too.”

Freshman Nyah Hernandez, who won the individual region championship by nearly a minute, has led Creekview all season, along with Anna Hyde, Izzy Hurdle, Alysa Miles and Molly Morris — all of whom finished in the top 15 at the region meet.

River Ridge’s Robert Zell and Sequoyah’s Bradshaw Lathbury will compete individually after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the region.

Woodstock sent just one individual to last season’s state championships, so sending both of its teams from a competitive Area 3AAAAAAA field was the realization of its season-long goal.

“It’s been a great year,” Woodstock coach Kirk Scharich said. “The whole attitude has been different this year. We have a young girls team with no seniors. We have a boys team who has been improving all season. I think we’re peaking at the right time, and if we can keep it up, we can have a good finish.”

Brynne Sumner, who ran at state as an individual last season, has followed her breakout freshman season with a strong sophomore campaign, finishing seventh at the area championships. Anna Burnett and Anna Bailey also ran well to help the Lady Wolverines earn the final qualifying spot.

The Woodstock boys ran as more of a pack to finish fifth at the area championship, with four of its top five runners finishing in the top 25.

Austin Bailey led the way for the Wolverines, but Evan Cowart, Patrick Nolen and Josiah Jaqua were not far behind. Scharich said they will need another team effort to have any shot at a good finish Friday.

“I think running as well as we did at area was a good sign,” Scharich said. “I think those races will end up being as good as any state meet we’ll see this weekend. I think we realized we need to get our fifth-place finisher up on both sides, but we’ve had a great week of practice. We’ve seen what it takes to run with the best. I just hope we can get out there and have another great race to finish off a great season.”

Etowah, which finished both of its teams in the top 10 a season ago, failed to qualify this year, though it will send three runners as individuals.

Macki Walsh won the individual area championship to advance and will be joined in the girls race by teammate Sydney Runyan, who finished ninth. Nick Cooke, who finished fifth in the boys race, also qualified.

Woodstock teams, Etowah individuals qualify for state championships

By Alex Resnak

CANTON — The boys and girls teams from both Woodstock and Walton will be moving on to the state championships after qualifying against stiff competition in Saturday’s Area 3AAAAAAA meet at Boling Park.

Milton and Lambert dominated the boys race, combining to claim the top four individual spots, with Lambert edging Milton 53-68 for the team title. Walton (85) was third, ahead of fellow qualifiers South Forsyth (104), Woodstock (128) and West Forsyth (141).

With the eight regions of Class AAAAAAA combined into four areas, the top six teams from Saturday’s meet advanced to compete in Carrollton on Nov. 4. The top 12 individuals, regardless of if they are attached to an advancing team, also qualified.

“They ran very well,” Walton coach Travis Gower said. “I’m pleased with it. They came in and did what they needed to qualify. We know we’re in the toughest (area), and if we can hang with these guys, we have a decent shot at the podium in two weeks.”

The Raiders were led by Andrew Singh, who finished sixth in 15 minutes, 54.98 seconds, but Singh said he could have done better.

“I didn’t really stick to my game plan,” he said. “I wanted to be a little closer to the front pack, but I think I’ll be able to do better at state.”

Teammate Ben Dahlgren (15:55.91) was less than a second behind in seventh, while Harrison Holden (16:30.94) was 17th to give Walton a strong lead group.

Woodstock also benefited from running in the pack mentality.

Austin Bailey (11th, 16:11.59), Evan Cowart (16th, 16:26.57), Patrick Nolan (21st, 16:34.34) and Josiah Jaqua (23rd, 16:35.76) all finished within 12 spots of one another, but Woodstock coach Kirk Scharich said it will take five strong runs to do anything at state.

“Our top four all ran great,” Scharich said. “We’re just going to need five at state. I think we can do it, though. I think it’s more mental than anything.”

Etowah (186) fell one spot short of qualifying, but it was not because of Nick Cooke.

Coming off the Cherokee County championship, Cooke finished fifth in 15:53.82 and will run at the state championship as an individual.

“There were a lot of good runners here,” Cooke said. “That can help you run faster because they set the pace. I’m sure it will be the same at state.”

Etowah’s girls had a similar problem.

Despite having two runners in the top 10, the Lady Eagles (182) just missed out with a seventh-place finish, behind qualifiers Milton (53), South Forsyth (60), West Forsyth (108), Walton (119), Lambert (139) and Woodstock (144).

Macki Walsh, ran a season-best 17:53.94 to capture the area championship and will be joined in Carrollton by Sydney Runyan, who finished ninth in 19:01.22.

“I think that was the fastest I’ve ever ran,” Walsh said. “I really wanted to get into the 17s, because colleges really like that. I’m running as well as I have all season.”

Walton was led by Abigail Robertson (fifth, 18:28.10), while also getting strong performances from Stephanie L’Estrange (18th, 19:29.55) and Allison Mitchell (19th, 19:29.61).

“I tried to stay with the lead group as much as possible,” Robertson said. “I knew, if I did, I would have a better chance to (set a personal record). At the very end, I just gave it all I had.”

Brynne Sumner (seventh, 18:46.06) led Woodstock to its state meet berth, along with Anna Burnett (13th, 19:13.56) and Anna Bailey (29th, 19:58.21).

“It was a really strong field,” Scharich said. “All of our girls showed up and ran well (Saturday) to get us through, and we live to fight another day.”

Copyright © 2016 Marietta Daily Journal 10/23/2016