The coach said he not only got that wish, but the two teams “picked up some hardware” due to their performance in the invitational.
Both Cartersville teams placed third out of 11 teams in the invitational and six individuals — five on the girls team — won medals after placing in the top 25 with their performance in the 5K.
“The top five [Cartersville] girls all placed in the medals,” Matherne said. “I was especially proud of them. They just ran lights out. They packed up really well and moved through the field nicely and had a lot of energy.”
Bree Cole was the top performer for the girls team.
He said Evan Cole, the boys’ top finisher, also claimed a medal and the rest of the team performed well.
“Several of them ran personal bests for the season,” Matherne said. “Also, we had seven guys finish with times within 11 seconds of one another. We were so close together we looked like a bunch of grapes.”
Bleckley County was the top performer on the boys teams with 71 points; Benedictine was second with 121; Cartersville, 134; Vidalia, 203; and East Laurens, 390.
The top five girls teams were Bleckley County, 53; St. Vincents, 78; Cartersville, 90; Hawkinsville, 254; and Vidalia, 313.
Cartersville’s boys and their order of finish and times were: Cole, 17th, 18:35; Noah Harper, 27th, 19:03; Haden Boon, 28th, 19:03; Andy Sims, 30th, 19:10; Will Pruitt, 32nd, 19:13; Patrick Gordon, 33rd, 19:14; Jacob Gambill, 35th, 19:16; Cody Cauffman, 39th, 19:18; Steven Moser, 66th, 20:34; Rashad Robinson, 67th, 20:35; Dakota Gulasa, 78th, 20:50;
William Matherne, 84th, 20:59; Quez Walker, 103rd, 21:24; Jake Pelfrey, 120, 22:18; Charles Lovingood, 124th, 22:22; Chris Cochran, 126th, 22:30; Thomas Watkins, 129th, 22:33; Daniel
Hattaway, 130th, 22:37; Ezra Hall, 152nd, 24:05; Laerikson Rogers, 160th, 24:35; Taylor McDaniel, 167th, 25:38; and Kyle Hoganson, 186th, 33:55.
Cartersville’s girls in their order of finish and times were: Cole, fifth overall, 21:18; Edith Milian, 19th, 23:16; Kaili Willis, 20th, 23:18; Victoria Hickom, 22nd, 23:25; Elyse Hoganson, 24th, 23:31; Victoria Everhart, 28th, 23:52; Payton Putzer, 31st, 24:13; Madison Putzer, 32nd, 24:15; Tori Sims, 34th, 24:22; Danielle Lullie, 57th, 26:10; Sarah Kirksey, 73rd, 28:55; Meghan O’Connell, 76th, 29:04; Bailey Bearden, 84th, 30:27; Kenya Santacruz, 87th, 31:08; Brooke West, 91st, 32:34; and Megha Dalwadi, 101st, 35:55.
Matherne said the boys cross country team is showing signs it will be competitive in its sport a long time.
“Our top eight guys include four freshmen and two sophomores,” he said. “We are a very young team.”
He said the team is being led by seniors, though.
“Evan and Noah have done a great job for us this year,” he said. “Caeleb Jenkins, who is now injured, won the Cartersville Classic in 17:56 at the Tellus Science Museum.”
He said the cross country team next competes Saturday in the Rome area championship. “We’ll run in that and host the 5-AAA regionals on Oct. 29 at Dellinger Park.