Woodland's Evans, Cartersville's Archer named runners of the year

STAFF REPORT
Posted 1/9/21

A total of 20 local cross country runners — 10 each from Cartersville and Woodland — convened to recognize their accomplishments from the 2020 season at an event Thursday in downtown …

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Woodland's Evans, Cartersville's Archer named runners of the year

Posted

A total of 20 local cross country runners — 10 each from Cartersville and Woodland — convened to recognize their accomplishments from the 2020 season at an event Thursday in downtown Cartersville.

Hosted by Wire2Wire Running, the ceremony honored the top 10 boys and girls runners in Bartow County based on their fastest times for the year. The boys side consisted of six Canes and four Wildcats, while the girls produced the opposite result.

Cartersville senior Bill Archer earned the boys runner of the year title, posting the county's best time of 16 minutes, 45.03 seconds at the Jesse Owens Invitational. The Alabama event also produced the quickest times for the other five Canes — Sam Peters (2nd, 16:51.86), Colin McCann (3rd, 17:00.26), Levi Booth (6th, 17:09.02), Sidney Stegall (7th, 17:10.51) and Carson Gage (10th, 17:39.66).

As for the girls, Class 5A all-state selection Rylee Evans easily claimed the runner of the year honor. A fourth-place finisher at state, Evans — a junior at Woodland — beat the second-best girls runner by more than 2 minutes, setting a personal record of 18 minutes, 33.28 seconds at the ASICS Invitational.

Woodland's top boy, Tyler Jones, likewise led the Wildcats due to his blistering pace at the ASICS Invitational. Jones completed the course with a time of 17:06.81 seconds — good enough for fourth-fastest in the county.

Teammate McKinley Chappell was just behind Jones, having finished the Pickens Invitational in 17 minutes, 8.5 seconds. The Pickens Invitational also led to season PRs for Patrick Bollwerk (8th, 17:19.3) and J.T. Forsyth (9th, 17:23.7).

The four Cartersville girls who cracked the top 10 also posted their quickest times at the Jesse Owens Invitational. Elizabeth Nelson (20:38.92) and McKinsey Spinks (20:58.42) finished second and third, respectively, in the county. Trinity Atkins (5th, 21:41.82) and Meredith Gaines (7th, 21:46.93) likewise had their best performances at the event.

All season long, the top Woodland girls rotated behind Evans, and that was reflected in the standings, with five individuals posting season PRs within 30 seconds of each other.

Olivia Berry led the group, placing fourth in the county with a time of 21 minutes, 37.7 seconds at the Pickens Invitational. Erin Bollwerk saved her best for last, putting up a PR of 21:45.91 (6th overall in the county) at the state meet. Danielle Thayer (21:54.4), Marlee Bowles (22:00.4) and Megan Shultz (22:06.69) rounded out the top 10.