Woodland will look for a similar result today at this year's county meet, being held at Adairsville's Manning Mill Park.
Both Cameron Leonard and Ashley Barrera, last year's winners, lead Woodland's repeat efforts. Leonard ran a 17-minute, 51-second race last September, and Barrera's time of 21:14 won the girls' race.
Thus far this season, Leonard's best time -- 17:32 -- came in Woodland's most recent race, Thursday at the 19th annual Ridge Ferry Invitational in Rome, while Barrera's season-best -- 22:23 -- came at the Cartersville Classic Sept. 18 at Tellus Museum.
"I'm hoping that he'll be county champion again and, through his leadership, get the other guys (to run well)," Woodland boys coach Rob Forbes said. "We improved our time by over 25 seconds (at Ridge Ferry). ... We're doing what we're supposed to do, which is improving every race."
Woodland's and Cartersville's boys can expect another tight battle after their race at the Cartersville Classic.
"We ran a close race against Cartersville over at the Cartersville Classic," Forbes said. "It's gonna be a battle."
For Woodland's girls, coach Richard Tuttle is hoping for a bounce-back performance from his No. 1 runner after last week's Ridge Ferry run.
"We had some good performances from our younger runners and some less than good performances from our leader, Ashley Barrera," Tuttle said. "(She) struggled and didn't have a good race, which we're hoping she can rectify.
"If she runs what she's capable of, we should be fine," he added.
Woodland also should get a boost from Rachel Mez, who will be suiting up for the first time this season.
"She should help us considerably," Tuttle acknowledged.
Just as on the boys' side, the stiffest competition to Woodland's title hopes may be Cartersville, which finished as runner-up in both races last year.
"I don't know what the weather may hold, but it ought to be a challenging course," said Cartersville coach David Matherne. "It's always exciting to see how a (county) championship meet unfolds. ... (There) should be some fireworks."
Cartersville returns eight runners from last season and has added top newcomers, especially on the boys' side where Roger Herrera, Lawson Crowe, Alex Vicente and Richard Jennings are making the most of their foray into varsity running.
Two veterans, Lindsay Anderson and Anna Ward, help lead the Cartersville girls.
"(They) bring a lot of experience," Matherne said. "They're the only two (runners), boys or girls, that have run all four years. That says a lot about how they've been the backbone of the girls (team) for a couple of years."
Along with Ward and Anderson -- who has won the county meet once and finished in second twice -- Kyra Gore and Talitha Cherer are much improved from last season, Matherne said.
"They're a couple of question marks, and they're a couple of exclamation points," the coach added of his Cartersville boys and girls teams. "I'm no prognosticator so I don't know how the kids are going to run."
Cass girls' coach David Rawlins hopes his team performs up to its potential.
"We ran better" at the Ridge Ferry Invitational, Rawlins said. "We're improving and, hopefully, if everyone's healthy, we'll be able to run up to our expectations and, hopefully, that will lead to a county championship."
Cass girls' team, which won the Cartersville Classic, returns five runners from last year -- Savannah Casey, Hannah Hood, Taylor Armstead, Audrey Nix and Jordan Drawver.
Newcomers Kayla Schuler and Madison Ainesworth round out the Cass girls varsity.
While Cass' boys and girls finished third at last year's county meet, Adairsville and Excel Christian Academy flip-flopped for the final two spots, with Adairsville placing fourth in the boys' meet and Excel's girls coming in fourth.
Adairsville's boys' team, which lost its top two runners from a year ago, have just seven boys this season -- enough to field a varsity team -- and the girls have three runners -- not enough to factor into a team score.
Excel has a boys team, but Hallie Wachsmuth is its only girl runner.
"I kept waiting as long as we could to get some more kids out -- just waited and pushed some meets back -- but it's never happened," Adairsville boys' coach Curt Wallace said of his sparse team.
"They've improved every week," Wallace said of his team, which has run in two meets this season. "Each week they've gotten better. I have two kids that are running in the 19s and a couple more in the low 20s."
Ryan Sexauer, Virgil Gentry and Christian Warren return for Adairsville.
Key returners for Excel, which is coached by Krista Keefe, feature more prominently on the boys' side with Mason Rudder, Mason Butt, Phillip Looney and Thomas Farmer back.
Below is a capsule on each team competing at the county meet:
2009 county meet finish: Boys, fourth; Girls, fifth
Coach: Curt Wallace
Key returners: Ryan Sexauer, Virgil Gentry, Christian Warren
Remaining schedule: Today, Bartow County Championships; Oct. 5, Cass-Cartersville Invitational; Oct. 12, Adairsville Invitational; Oct. 19, Georgia Highlands Invitational; Oct. 28, Region 7-AA meet
2009 county meet finish: Boys, second; Girls, second
Coach: David Matherne
Key returners: Lindsay Anderson, Anna Ward, Kyra Gore, Talitha Cherer, Alex Everhart, Zach Cravey, Troy Hickom and Hunter Myrick
Remaining schedule: Today, Bartow County Championships; Oct. 5, Cass-Cartersville Invitational; Oct. 19, Georgia Highlands Invitational; Oct. 28, Region 7-AAA meet
2009 county meet finish: Boys, third; Girls, third
Coaches: Boys, Michael Durham; Girls, David Rawlins
Remaining schedule: Today, Bartow County Championships; Oct. 5, Cass-Cartersville Invitational; Oct. 19 at Pepperell; Oct. 30, Region 7-AAAA meet
Excel Christian Academy
2009 county meet finish: Boys, fifth; Girls, fourth
Coach: Krista Keefe
Key returners: Mason Butt, Thomas Farmer, Phillip Looney, Mason Rudder
Remaining schedule: Today, Bartow County Championships; Saturday, Darlington Cross Country Festival; Oct. 5, Cass-Cartersville Invitational; Oct. 12, The Run at the Rock; Oct. 19, Georgia Highlands Invitational; Oct. 28, Region 6-A meet
2009 county meet finish: Boys, first; Girls, first
Coach: Boys, Rob Forbes; Girls, Richard Tuttle
Key returners: Cameron Leonard, Ashley Barrera, Colton Wheatley, Amber Fuller, Dollieteah Strickland, Meagan Gudger, Mallory Rosiek and Erica Webb
Remaining schedule: Today, Bartow County Championships; Saturday, Darlington Cross Country Festival; Oct. 5, Cass-Cartersville Invitational; Oct. 12, The Run at the Rock; Oct. 16, Sharptop Invitational; Oct. 19, Georgia Highlands Invitational; Oct. 30, Region 7-AAAA meet