The sweltering heat did little to slow down the Cartersville boys cross country team Saturday in Jasper, as the Canes opened the season with a fifth-place finish in the Pickens Preview.
Cartersville, which had the highest finish among a trio of Class 4A participants, was led by Sidney Stegall. The freshman completed the course in 17 minutes, 30.71 seconds for a 16th-place showing.
Junior Colin McCann finished 25th overall in just under 18 minutes.
The Canes' final three scorers all placed between 33rd and 36th. Sophomore Alex Rios (18:09.16) led the group; senior Max Florence (18:09.71) wound up 35th; and junior Levi Booth finished close behind in 18 minutes, 10.02 seconds.
Cartersville's average time was 18 minutes on the nose. The Canes finished behind a few state powers in Pace Academy, Pope, North Gwinnett and Dawson County.
On the girls side, Cartersville placed 13th out of 15 schools. Sophomore McKinsey Spinks paced the group finishing 39th in 23 minutes, 14.6 seconds.
Trista Kelly (81st, 25:58.48), Jaxiry Betancourt (94th, 27:01.03), Alice Terry (98th, 28:10.87) and Metzli Munoz (101st, 28:47.9) rounded out the Canes competitors.