Cartersville cross country teams run to Bartow County Championship titles


PHOTOS: Cartersville's Robby Earick (center photo) was the wire-to-wire winner of the 2016 boys Bartow County Cross Country Championship. The Lady Canes (left) and Hurricanes (right) were the 2016 team champions.

Although the No. 1-ranked Woodland girls team held out its top five runners in preparation for a weekend race, the annual Bartow County Cross Country Championships were still highly competitive last Thursday with Cartersville and Woodland challenging for the titles.


It was the Cartersville girls and boys teams, however, that won the 2016 Bartow championships.


Cartersville won the girls race 25-30 and the Canes' boys took four of the top five spots to win that race.


According to David Bishop, who assists with the race, the course at Cass High School was adjusted last minute and was not properly measured. It led to a shortened course with times that were faster than typical 5K races and therefore not comparable.


Although Woodland held out its top five girls, the Lady Cats second team ran very well and narrowly lost to the Lady Canes.


MacKenzie Stephenson of the Lady Cats won the girls race with Lady Canes' runners claiming the next three spots. Vanna Beach, Kayla Carpenter, and Abby Forristall placed second through fourth. Krystinn Dabbs finished sixth for Cartersville and Caroline Fahey was tenth.


Cartersville coach David Matherne gave credit to both girls teams. "Their second group of girls are strong, so we had to run well."


In the boys race, Cartersville's Robby Earick and Andy Sims finished one-two to lead the Canes to a team victory. Woodland placed second and Adairsville third. Cass and Excel Christian Academy each had varsity runners in the boys race.


Jonathan Holloway of Woodland placed third individually with Jacob Busek and Will Pruitt of Cartersville completing the boys' top five. William Matherne of Cartersville placed tenth to round out the Canes' scoring lineup.


In related news from the meet, Matherne said the name on the trophy for future Bartow County Championships will be changed to "The Bishop" in honor of former Cass coach David Bishop.


“He is really an ambassador for our sport and has been for decades," noted Matherne of the now retired Bishop. “He has cheered on kids from all the schools for years, provided T-shirts for the winning teams, and simply provided a lot of support for the sport."

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