Wildcats, Canes compete in out-of-state XC events

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McKenna Trapheagen set a personal best as the Woodland girls cross country team finished 11th against teams from several different states in the Great American Cross Country Festival on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The top runner in the county this season, Trapheagen completed the 5k course in 18 minutes, 18.40 seconds. The junior finished 19th out of 184 girls in the Race of Champions — the event's highest level.

Carli Clymer was the next-fastest Woodland runner, placing 52nd and crossing the finish line in 19 minutes, 11.10 seconds, for her season-best time. Tess Cochran (69th, 19:26.00), Rylee Evans (101st, 19:54.90) and Baylee Evans (124th, 20:09.60) rounded out the scorers for Woodland, which placed 11th out of 26 teams.

The remaining Wildcats who competed in the Race of Champions were Cheyenne Spinks (134th, 20:24.60) and Marlee Bowles (164th, 21:23.50).

On the boys side, Woodland competed in one of the varsity 5k races. John Shropshire (17:36.10) paced the Wildcats with a 48th-place showing. Dylan Stermer finished 96th out of 334 runners in 18 minutes, 8.50 seconds.

John Forsyth (135th, 18:28.00) and Kobe Cochran (172nd, 18:42.10) also put forth strong efforts. Reece Mitchell (19:02.90) and Patrick Bollwerk (19:04.00) finished in 210th and 212th, respectively. Ian VanOrder's closed out Woodland's varsity runners, crossing in 19 minutes, 20.20 seconds, good enough for 232nd — better than more than 100 competitors.

While Woodland was competing in North Carolina, the Cartersville cross country team was running in Alabama. The Canes crossed the state line to head to Oakville for the Jesse Owens Classic.

The boys finished ninth out of 51 teams; the girls placed 22nd out of 42.

Bill Archer led the boys with a time of 17 minutes, 14.62 seconds, for a 19th-place finish. Alex Rios (18:04.61) and Max Florence (18:09.57) wound up 64th and 69th, respectively.

Parker Breedlove (18:47.19) and Harrison Banks (18:47.23) finished just 0.4 seconds apart. Breedlove edged out his teammate to finish 128th. Just seconds behind the duo was Jacob Busek (18:49.45) in 133rd. Colin McCann (18:54.99) rounded out the Cartersville competitors.

Alex Machado starred for the Cartersville girls with a time of 22 minutes, 2.44 seconds. Her 61st-place showing was by far the best for the Canes. Trista Kelly (132nd, 23:31.88) and Vanna Beach (142nd, 23:47.07) had the next fastest times in the 286-girl race. Alice Terry (24:06.67) and Jaxiry Betancourt (24:06.97) finished three-tenths of a second apart in 158th and 159th, respectively.

Jocelyn Blanchette (176th, 24:28.51) and Metztil Munoz (25:39.65) completed the Cartersville runners.