Kingsley Green won the girls race at Boling Park with a time of 19 minutes, 23.95 seconds.
Crossing the line right behind her were Woodstock’s Alexandra Melehan (19:23.95) and another Lady Eagle, Kyla Resnick (19:31.64).
Green said that knowing Melehan was right behind her pushed her on.
“I stayed with the front pack and then, on the last 800 (meters), I surged,” she said. “I just stayed focused on staying with Alexandra and whoever else was up front. Alexandra pushed me from that last mile line, and then I surged. When I came across the line, I couldn’t believe that I was (county champ) at all.”
Etowah placed four other runners in the top 12 — Madison Fowler (fifth, 20:08.66), Macki Walsh (seventh, 20:19.47) and Kaitlyn Dorsey (12th, 20:49.70) — and scored 29 points overall.
Cherokee’s Caitlyn Farrell kept pace with Green and Melehan for most of the race before falling back a bit for a fourth-place finish of 19:41.08.
Rounding out the top 10 were Sequoyah’s Jessica Weems (eighth, 20:31.00), River Ridge’s Kali Kimball (ninth, 20:36.21) and Creekview’s Lera McNamara (10th, 20:42.65).
In the team standings, Woodstock was second with 52 points, followed by Creekview (87). Cherokee and River Ridge each finished with 113 points, and Sequoyah was sixth with 142 points.
In the boys race, Etowah pulled away with five finishers in the top 10 and defended its county title. The Eagles, however, didn’t have anyone finish in the top three.
Woodstock’s Owen Bailey pulled away over the final 400 yards for a 5-second victory over Sequoyah’s Chris Costa. Bailey’s time of 16:07.81 was far from his goal of 15:40, but he was happy nonetheless.
“It was pretty competitive,” Bailey said. “I just knew I wanted to go out and try to win it. Our team was really trying to upset Etowah.”
Costa and Bailey traded the lead several times during the race.
“I was keeping pace with him, and then he just took off,” Costa said. “I thought I needed to pick it up and tried, but I just couldn’t.”
Following Bailey and Costa (16:12.63) was Creekview’s Brennan Garriques (16:34.36) before a host of Eagles began crossing the line.
Sam Donley (16:41.60) finished fourth, followed by teammates Michael Perona (fifth, 16:45.42) and Blake Beavers (sixth, 16:52.72). Cherokee’s Taylor Scarborough sprinted down the stretch to finish seventh with a time of 16:54.42.
Etowah’s Parker Wall (eighth, 16:55.13) and Garrett Metropolis (10th, 17:13.97) and Woodstock’s Corey Champion (ninth, 17:06.36) rounded out the top 10.
In the team standings, Etowah finished with 33 points, while Sequoyah (70) edged Woodstock (74) for second place. Creekview (89) was fourth, followed by Cherokee (97) and River Ridge (151).
In addition to the top-10 finish by Costa, the Chiefs had three more runners — Ryan McNeal, Zach Moore, and Robert Carter — in the top 15, which gave them the edge over the Wolverines.
Etowah also won both junior varsity races, taking nine of the top 10 places in the boys competition.
“I think we did exactly what we were supposed to do,” Etowah coach Jesse Howard. “They ran to win (Saturday), and winning four races and winning three of the four individual championships is a good performance.”
Woodstock coach Kirk Scharich was disappointed that his boys weren’t able to secure second place.
“I thought we would run a lot better,” he said. “I know Owen was trying to go 15:40, but he wasn’t feeling great. He got through it. That is the fourth guy in a row that we have had to win county champion.”
Each of the teams will now refocus on their respective region meets and berths to the state championships in Carrollton.