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HVA's 1st-ever state champ
Led by Templeton brothers, Hawks boys cross country claims state title

Hardin Valley Academy's first-ever team state championship turned out to be a Templeton Brothers production.

But it was hardly a surprise to anyone who witnessed this groundbreaking championship effort at Percy Warner Steeplechase Park in Nashville Saturday, Nov. 6.

Though HVA's 5k path to the Class AAA Boys Cross Country Meet championship was more than a two-man effort, junior Will Templeton and freshman Aaron Templeton were front and center.

Capturing first and third, respectively, Will earned the individual championship among a 187-runner field (16:05.87) followed by Aaron's third-place finish (16:13.15).

“It is the first state championship, and it's pretty neat for our boys,” said HVA head coach Bryan Brown, whose Hawks edge Morristown West by nine points (87 versus 96). “It was an overall great day for Hardin Valley cross country.”

Brown said the Templeton boys' effort “was quite a feat ... both ran a perfect race just like we planned. They worked together.

“The boys team overall, all seven of them ran a great race. ... They weren't real nervous, they were fired up and excited to run,” Brown said.

Hawks senior Alex Piper also earned All-state honors with a 15th-place finish (16:36.91). Steven Spidell was 37th, Jacob Heglar 38th and Jake Torgeson 56th. Also contributing was Daniel Sonnenfeldt.

Brown said Piper “had a great race, it's a great way to go out as a senior."

Brown's Hawks also won KIL, Region 2-AAA and, perhaps most impressively, a multi-state meet in Charlotte, N.C.

Bearden finished fourth, led by sophomore Bryan Fitzsimmons taking 18th (16:43.37).

“We had a really good team, really young team,” BHS head coach Steve Prince said about a team that won Cherokee Invitational and Bristol Cross meets and finished just one point behind HVA for Region 2-AAA top honors.

Bearden also was just two points behind the Hawks for KIL top honors

Cory Oegema, also a sophomore, finished 23rd although “he lost his shoe, somebody stepped on his shoe and he came out of it after the first 400 [meters],” Prince said.

Junior Skyler Winchester was 31st, while senior Kyle Walter, “My No. 1 man most of the season” according to Prince, was 32nd.

Matt Sturgill ended 48th. “He's been wonderful as my fourth or fifth man,” Prince said of Sturgill.

Other Bulldogs contributors were senior Carter Wykoff and sophomore J.J. Shankles.

Following its third-place Region 2-AAA finish, Farragut was sixth at state (194) led by senior Zack Royster's All-state 11th-place efforft (16:25.27).

Conner Schwartz, an Admirals senior, was 36th followed by junior Will Sallade (39th) and junior Zack Darby (53rd).


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