South Effingham High School

Cartwright cruises at region meet

SEHS boys and girls, ECHS boys and girls qualify for state

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November 4, 2015

By Patrick Donahue

RICHMOND HILL — The buses headed to Carrollton in a couple of days will be teeming with Effingham County high school cross country teams. South Effingham senior Pricilla Cartwright blistered the field in winning the Region 3-AAAAA girls meet Thursday at Richmond Hill High School, and the boys and girls teams from both Effingham County and South Effingham qualified for the state meet. The Class AAAAA meet will be held Saturday morning in Carrollton. Cartwright posted a time of 20:32, finishing 14 seconds ahead of Richmond Hill’s Jennifer Thorpe. Earning the region title was a goal Cartwright set before the season started. “This is what my goal was, to win region, she said. “I’ve been practicing this whole year for this. That’s what my main goal was. I’ve been right where I wanted to be. It’s a matter of just pushing myself. I know I’m in the lead, so it’s just pushing myself to the end, to finish. Said South Effingham coach Laura Soles: “She had an awesome race. Effingham County’s teams squeezed into the top-four in each race — the girls finished with 117 points, clipping Bradwell Institute by two points, and the boys tallied 123 points, one ahead of Coffee. The top six individuals and the top four teams earn spots in the state meet field. Senior Bryce Griggs led the Mustangs boys with a time of 18:24, placing him third overall. Freshman Hans Ames was 11th at 19:05, and senior Michael McRee took 12th at 19:12. Senior Thomas Granat was 23rd at 19:48, and junior Ben Mogandu placed 36th at 20:26. With their finish, the Mustangs boys qualified for the state meet for the first time in three years. “I’m excited for them, Soles said. “They’re ready to go. Four of the Mustangs’ top six finishers — for team points consideration, the top five placers are counted — were seniors. “My boys have been awesome, Soles said. “I had one senior come but four decided to run. So my top four have been seniors. They rock. We had the best time this year and they’re such leaders. I’m hoping the Good Lord will bless me with four more next year. But I have so many freshmen coming up, they want to be up there. Justin Dolata had Effingham County’s top finish, taking ninth at 15:58. Noah McIntosh was 19th at 19:32, earning those points by .7 of a second over Camden’s Logan Hancock. Freshman Rafael Osella was 21st at 19:37, Timothy Smith was 25th at 19:57, clipping Coffee’s Caleb Watson by less than a half-second, and Ian Foster was 49th at 21:13. “I’m just so proud of them, said ECHS coach Mark Weese. “To see their faces when they made it was gratifying. They set a goal really high and they were able to achieve it. I’m proud of them. Weese worked with his boys runners on their kicks and on finishing strong — and they earned a spot in state by one point. “We’re taking a bus, he said. “I’m excited about that. The boys were the big surprise. We went into this race thinking we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Rachel Larson had a time of 23:40 to take ninth place for the Lady Mustangs. Jamie Yarbrough was 13th at 24:00, Ginger Roop was 23rd at 24:57 and Zoe Kreyenbuhl was 37th at 26:39. Freshman Catherine Hall led Effingham County with a fourth-place finish, turning in a time of 21:19. Ashley Kaeser was 17th at 24:39, Taylor Walsh took 25th at 25:21, Faith Deal placed 32nd at 26:15 and Shakari Powell was 39th at 27:10. The Lady Rebels have been without Marina Van Sickle, who qualified for the state meet last year, after she suffered a stress fracture. “The girls had to step it up as a team, Weese said. “We did well today. Richmond Hill swept the team titles, with the girls posting five top-10 finishes to rack up 23 points. Richmond Hill’s boys, with five of the top seven runners, had 24 points. South Effingham took second place in both events, as the boys had 85 points and the girls racked up 83 points. Glynn Academy was third in both the boys and girls standings. Coffee’s Cody Reid was the top boys finisher with a time of 17:54, winning by 15 seconds over Richmond Hill’s Rakeem Littles. Cartwright finished fourth in the region twice before and was determined to improve her place. “This year, I told myself, ‘I’m going to get first,’ she said. With a region title and also a school record under her belt, Cartwright believes she’s capable of posting a top time at Carrollton. “I’m pretty confident, she said. “I know I have a lot of competition. I’m just going to have to push myself and do my best. That’s all I can do. Hopefully, that will be good enough.

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