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It’s on to state for FHS cross country teams

Though the Alex Newby-Chris Wright duo once again led the way for Farragut’s girls and boys cross country teams, this time at the Region 2-AAA meet at Victor Ashe Park Oct. 25, solid supporting casts insured dual state meet trips.With Oak Ridge sweeping both team titles last Thursday, Chelsea Jacobs’ Lady Admirals took second to ORHS (25 to 81), while the FHS boys (101) edged Maryville (104) and Bearden (114) for third-place to slip into the state field (top three teams qualify).

Bearden’s boys team might have earned the spot Farragut snatched had its top runner, junior Sam Shaughnessy, not been injured and unavailable after a freak accident during fall break.

“For football coaches, soccer and cross country coaches, fall break is the pits,” BHS head coach Steve Prince said, adding that with Shaughnessy, “We definitely would have qualified.”

Prince’s BHS girls finished seventh (179).

Newby, All-state as a freshman in 2006, heads back after finishing third (20:01.4) in region. “I didn’t like my time, but I was happy,” Newby said, adding the Victor Ashe course “is pretty but I don’t like to run it, it’s hard, ups and downs.”

The 2007 KIL champion, Newby said her goal coming into the season was breaking the 19-minute mark. “I got close at the beginning of the year (19:15), but now I’m a little bit farther from it,” she said.

Alyssa Dresen finished 12th for FHS (21:30.0), followed by Peri Winborne 15th (22.10.4). Four Lady Admirals finished back-to-back (25th through 28th), led by Alison Woodford in 25th (22:49.6). The next three, in order, were Margo Sneed, Joanna Cannata and Hope Brinson.

Wright was seventh for the Farragut boys (17:01.1), with senior Jacob Gibson right behind in eighth (17:05.8).

“It was a pretty good race, and the weather was great,” Wright said. “I like the course, it’s a little bit hilly but it’s challenging. It prepares us well for state.”

As for Gibson, Jacobs said, “We were really happy with Jacob today, he’s been a little sick all season and he’s finally starting to come around.”

At state for Wright and Gibson, “I definitely expect to see top-20, top-25 if not All-state (top-15),” Jacobs added.

Admiral Kenta Nolin took 19th (17:49.2), followed by Kyle Branson 33rd, Adam Carr 34th and Michael Hansen 35th. Tom Jarvis was 44th.

“Adam Carr had an excellent race today,” Jacobs said.

Bearden’s top boy was Ben Fennell, who finished 15th (17:34.1), then it was Gregg Rader 17th (17:44.2), Peter Migun 21st (17:56.0), Tyler Freeman 29th, Billy Miller 33rd, Drew Crawford 36th and Silas Harness 55th.

“Ben Fennell did a great job for us, and Gregg Rader, but Peter Migun just ran out of his mind — he ran his season-best today,” Prince said.

Among Lady Bulldogs, Ruth Haun was best with a 22nd-place finish (22:39.9). Sarah Hope Jones (22:43.8) finished right behind in 23rd, followed by Alli Migun in 38th, Lily Winchester 49th and Molly Shankles 50th.

“Ruth Haun, she was a pleasant surprise for us ... she ran her season-best,” Prince said.

The state meet is Saturday, Nov. 3, at Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Course in Nashville.


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