The Forsyth Country Day boys cross country team last won an NCISAA state championship in 2000, so it's been waiting a long time to win another one.
The long wait ended last Friday when the Furies won the NCISAA Class 3-A boys championship at McAlpine Park in Charlotte. FCD finished first with 49 points, six better than runner-up Coastal Christian from Wilmington.
The Furies were able to celebrate on their way back to Lewisville.
"It was a good bus ride home," Coach Joe Scott of FCD said. "We got back, and we just all felt good about each other. Everybody was sort of wiped out, so we dispersed. But we had a good time on the bus. A lot of loud music and people singing."
The ability for coaches to anticipate which team wins a race before it is officially announced has become much easier in the nearly 20 years since the Furies' previous cross country championship.
"On paper, we knew that we were really close with the team that ended up finishing second, Coastal Christian," Scott said. "We had only competed against them once in the same meet, and they actually beat us by about 80 points, but we weren't running full strength that day."
That meet to which Scott was referring was also at McAlpine Park in late September, the Hare & Hounds Invitational.
"Because of the Internet databases that are available now − MileSplit and Athletic − we knew that we were very similar to them, and it would turn out to be a very, very close race, as it turned out to be," Scott said.
The top runner for the Furies last Friday was senior Zachary Moore, who finished fourth overall at 16:45.9, behind winner Isiah Arnold of Coastal Christian, who finished 16.16.5.
"It was just so cool that I could help the guys achieve something our school hasn't experienced in such a long time," Moore said. "And on my senior year, on top of that. So we worked so hard this season, and it's nice to see all our hard work come to fruition in such an awesome way."
Following the race, the Furies did not know whether they had won.
"After the race, we were crunching the numbers, and I was beginning to see how close it would be," Moore said. "And we were adding up the numbers and we were seeing that we might actually win, so that was exciting."
However, when it was officially announced, a sense of relief came over them.
"We had a really good support crew that came from school," Scott said. "There was a lot of cheering and yelling, and sort of relief, too, that it had been a tense 20 minutes waiting for that official word. But all the effort paid off and it was a really satisfying feeling. I was really happy for the boys."
In addition to Moore, FCD had strong finishes from other runners. Will Gray, the son of FCD boys basketball coach Monty Gray, finished sixth at 17.06.50. Scott's two sons, junior Will Scott and freshman Sam Scott, finished seventh and 14th, respectively. Will Scott crossed the line in 17:07.70, and Sam Scott finished the race in 17:25.30.
"It was awesome," Will Scott said. "We had always talked about maybe we could all win a state championship together. We finally did it, and it was just — it was a great experience."
The Scotts waited before they bonded as a family.
"When we got back home we kind of had a nice experience talking about the race and all that," Will Scott said. "We shared some good memories of the day."
Joe Scott said it was great to celebrate as a coach and a father of two of runners.
"As fun as it was, I consider that team a family in a lot of ways," Joe Scott said. "And for me personally, it really is family."