“That’s all we have at the varsity level,” Lady Tigers’ cross-country coach John Ford said. “We had a third runner, senior Amber Wallace, but she’s hurt. Most of the girls [at Adairsville] choose volleyball, cheerleading or softball over cross country.”
But out of all the varsity girls who compete in these three sports during the fall, one Lady Tiger is heading to state.
Sexauer will represent Adairsville at the state cross-country meet thanks to her first-place finish at this year’s region meet. The sophomore phenom who finished 15th at state last year completed the 3.1-mile course in a time of 21:22; 16 seconds better than second place finisher, Nolan Swain of Gordon Central, 21:38.
“I knew she was good, but it’s no secret anymore about how good she really is,” Cartersville coach David Matherne said.
Sexauer also was the only runner representing Adairsville who medaled.
For both the girls and boys, the top four teams and the top six individuals will represent Region 5-AAA at the state AA-AAAAAA cross country meet to be held in Carrollton on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Rounding out the top six for the varsity girls, along with Sexauer and Swain, were Karen Valencia, Gordon Central, 21:47; Abbi Mabry, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 22:00; Katie Shelly, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 22:06; and Bethany Goodman, Coahulla Creek, 22:06.
Of the six teams in the girls’ division, heading to state are Cartersville, 53; Gordon Central, 63; Coahulla Creek, 86; and Ringgold, with 90.
In the boys’ varsity division, it was Cartersville, 31; Coahulla Creek, 51; Ringgold, 120; and North Murray, 121. Adairsville placed fifth with 130.
Of the top six individual finishers, four were Purple Hurricanes.
Rogelio Herrera was second, 16:53; Lawson Crowe, third, 17:12; Tommy Morrison, fourth, 17:20; and Troy Hickom, fifth, 17:28.
First overall was Isaac Pacheo of North Murray in a time of 16:42. Tayler Knight of Ringgold also qualified for state with his sixth-place finish in a time of 17:42
“To quote our principal, Mr. [Steve] Butler, ‘we [Cartersville] did something great today,’” said Matherne following his announcement of all the winners and the handing out of team trophies and individual medals. “For the girls, it was depth that helped us win. We competed against teams who had at least two runners who finished in the top 10.”
The 5-AAA region victory Thursday was the first for both Cartersville cross-country teams since 2007.