Archer, Stegall lead Canes XC to 6th-place finish
For the second time in as many meets to start the season, the Cartersville boys cross country team finished ahead of its Class 4A brethren Saturday in the Clara Invitational at Berry College.
Junior Bill Archer and freshman Sidney Stegall each earned top-10 finishes to help the Canes place sixth overall. Archer wound up eighth with a time of 17 minutes, 7.34 seconds. Stegall came in 10th, crossing just 3.6 seconds later.
Alex Rios secured a top-25 showing. The sophomore produced a time of 17 minutes, 37.44 seconds, good enough for 24th overall. Colin McCann (18:16.60) placed 48th, and Levi Booth (18:25.20) was 57th to round out the scoring performances.
“He’s amazing,” Cartersville head coach David Matherne said of Stegall. “He’s one of those very few athletes that comes along. It was the same way when Bill was a freshman and with Alex last year. Our top three are all superstars and still relatively young. What Sidney’s doing is rare. … He’s the real deal.”
Archer missed the season-opening meet due to a leadership conference, and his return certainly bolstered the Canes, who had an average time of 17 minutes, 43 seconds.
“They worked together and fed off each other’s synergy,” Matherne said of Archer and Stegall. “They started off about 25th at a mile. They were just picking people off. They didn’t go out too aggressively. Against good teams, you want to get off to a fast start but not too fast. Alex Rios had a really good race, too.”
Cartersville’s 147 point total placed the Canes six points back of fifth-place Lovett. Lambert, Mill Creek, Marietta and Harrison finished out the top four.
“All those teams were fantastic programs,” Matherne said. “Those are all powerhouse, large schools. … We were in there with good company.”
On the girls side, Cartersville was 15th out of 16 teams. McKinsey Spinks led the Canes, finishing 68th overall in 22 minutes, 33.8 seconds.
“The improvement from Pickens two weeks ago was marked,” Matherne said. “McKinsey and Alice [Terry] cut a large amount of time off their previous race. … They gave a lot of heart. I’m not worried about the girls.”