On Saturday morning, the course in the shadow of South Holston Dam became even tougher — even a quagmire. The mud and sloshy ground made for slow times and had a “real” cross country feel like the sport has in Europe.
Emerging with team titles were Daniel Boone’s boys and Dobyns-Bennett’s girls.
On the individual side, D-B senior Emma Russum came up with her first-ever win in a high school cross country race after finishing in 19:58.9. Science Hill senior Aaron Jones broke away late on the big downhill to claim the boys’ title in 17:03.5.
RUSSUM PULLS AWAY LATE
“We went through this part back in the woods where there was like a foot of water,” Russum said. “Going up the hill back in that area was where I broke away. ... The team ran really well today. The times really weren’t that fast today, but we placed well and we look good going into our races in September.”
Russum — often forgotten running alongside Sasha Neglia — is, based on average, the third best runner in Northeast Tennessee. It was a big deal for her to win a race on Saturday.
“It was fun and that was my goal going into today,” she said.
“We’re pretty deep this year and that’s good to see,” said Tribe coach Bob Bingham. “Emma has gotten better and better every year. It’s good to see her win. I call her either Sasha’s ‘Robin,’ or they are Jordan and Pippen. When I call them Jordan and Pippen, they don’t know what I’m talking about.
“I’ve got four seniors that are really close and they’re all good in the classroom,” he added. “All four of them have a weighted average of 4.5 or over and all of them are in the top 13 of their class. It’s a unique bunch.”
The Lady Indians’ scoring five finished in the top 15, giving them 34 points. Daniel Boone was second with 48, led by a fourth-place overall finish from freshman Kamryn Wingfield in 21:11.8.
Tennessee High freshman Zoe Arrington nabbed runner-up honors in 20:39.4 and Sullivan East’s Mandy Lowery placed sixth on her home course in 21:27.0.
Sullivan South’s Cara Taylor also had a good day, finishing 14th in 22:18.7.
JONES RUNS AWAY
The Science Hill senior made quick work of a solid field, breaking away before the 1½-mile mark on the swampy course. Jones and teammate Ray Richardson found themselves ahead of the field within the first half-mile and only Boone’s Conner Wingfield was able to break them up.
“I threw in a big surge after Ray and I were up in the woods and Conner caught us,” Jones said. “I have a lot more confidence going into races. I know that I can throw in some big surges and run with some of those guys that I maybe couldn’t have run with before.”
Boone totaled 28 points and runner-up Science Hill had 50.
The Trailblazers have historically done well in the first race of the season and Saturday was no exception: The entire scoring five finished inside the top 10.
In addition to Wingfield’s runner-up finish, Austin Galloway was fourth (17:54), Max Austin fifth (17:56) and brothers Bryson and Mason Lewis eighth and ninth, respectively.
“We do have more depth this year and this is such a close group of kids in all aspects,” Boone coach Len Jeffers said. “It’s so early in a long season, so we have to be a little careful. ...
“It was a good, smart run by Conner. He’s still learning some things other than to just go race. He’s smart and he listens and he’s very coachable, much like everyone else on the team.
“This team has really gotten that team concept first and not really focusing on the individual stuff. It’s been a good experience during this part of the season.”
Other notable top-15 finishes included Sullivan South’s Dillon Youngblood (seventh, 18:06) and University High’s Nick Daniel (12th, 18:31.2).
Run for the Hills 5K
At TVA South Holston Dam, Bristol, Tenn.
Saturday, Aug. 24
1. Dobyns-Bennett 34, 2. Daniel Boone 48, 3. David Crockett 76, 4. Science Hill 87, 5. Sullivan East 146, 6. University High 168, 7. Volunteer 205, 8. Providence 220, 9. Sullivan South 220, 10. Happy Valley 239, 11. Greeneville 249.
Individual results (top 15)
1. Emma Russum (D-B) 19:58.9, 2. Zoe Arrington (THS) 20:39.4, 3. Autumn Headrick (D-B) 20:55.7, 4. Kamryn Wingfield (Boone) 21:11.8, 5. Rachel Dulaney (Crockett) 21:17.7, 6. Mandy Lowery (SE) 21:27.0, 7. Gracie Allen (D-B) 21:42.5, 8. Patricia Chellah (Boone) 21:54.7, 9. Ashley Doyle (SH) 21:57.3, 10. Trinny Duncan (SH) 21:57.5, 11. Grace Sheldon (Boone) 21:59.2, 12. Macee Pickup (D-B) 22:09.3, 13. Alysse Rowland (Boone) 22:13.3, 14. Cara Taylor (SS) 22:18.7, 15. Morgan Cordell (D-B) 22:22.3.
1. Daniel Boone 28, 2. Science Hill 50, 3. Dobyns-Bennett 70, 4. Sullivan East 182, 5. David Crockett 211, 6. Volunteer 214, 7. Elizabethton 221, 8. Greeneville 228, 9. University High 228, 10. Sullivan South 234, 11. Providence 241, 12. Sullivan Central 254, 13. Tennessee High 271.
Individual results (top 15)
1. Aaron Jones (SH) 17:03.5, 2. Conner Wingfield (Boone) 17:23.6, 3. Ray Richardson (SH) 17:33.5, 4. Austin Galloway (Boone) 17:54.6, 5. Max Austin (Boone) 17:56.2, 6. Bryson Livesay (Crockett) 18:03.2, 7. Dillon Youngblood (SS) 18:06.8, 8. Bryson Lewis (Boone) 18:20.9, 9. Mason Lewis (Boone) 18:26.7, 10. Dane Sullins (D-B) 18:28.6, 11. Sam Blalock (D-B) 18:31.0, 12. Nick Daniel (UH) 18:31.2, 13. Caleb Lee (SH) 18:36.2, 14. Zach Cooper (SH) 18:42.3, 15. Caleb Amburn (D-B) 18:43.6.