“I’m in pretty good shape, but I’m not comparing my time from last year during championship season to my time here today,” said Neglia. “I beat my time here from last year, so that was good.”
Neglia ran 18:22 for the sneaky difficult double-loop 5K course at Steele Creek, just barely off of her course record time set last year at the conference meet. She did, however, set a meet record.
Hidden Valley from Roanoke, Virginia won the team title with 71 points while Tennessee #2 Hardin Valley took second-place with 77 points.
The Indians finished a surprising third place with 95 points while David Crockett took fourth with 128 points. Daniel Boone finished fifth with 174 points.
Senior standout Breanna Roy finished in second place behind Neglia and broke 19:00 on the Steele Creek course for the first time, running 18:47.
“I was out there thinking that I have to get closer and closer to Sasha. I felt like I came through the first mile pretty quick,” said Roy. “I was trying to average about a 6:00 per mile pace so I wouldn’t die out. My blisters on my heels were starting to hurt me at about two miles in. It didn’t slow me down though.”
The boys championship race was another runaway. Knox-Webb senior Carter Coughlin won with a time of 15:33, breaking both the meet and the course record in the process. He won by 21 seconds over Jake Renfree of Knox-Catholic.
Junior Chance Bowman of Daniel Boone was the top local finisher with a fifth-place showing in a time of 16:30, a minute improvement from the same race last year.
“It was a rough day, given the start time and a long wait on a hot day,” said Bowman. “I think I put in a good effort today. There’s always room to improve.”
Knoxville Catholic won the overall meet with 106 points while the Trailblazers finished third with 174 points, but won the large schools division. Eastside High School from South Carolina took second place with 134 points.
“It was a fast start for the boys out there. You have to get out fast with that many schools and runners,” said Boone head coach Len Jeffers. “This meet gives our kids more experience of what bigger meets are going to be like, especially later in the season.”
Noticeably absent from the meet was the Science Hill boys and girls varsity squads, which were apparently being held out from the races by a coach’s decision.
The meet had a total of 49 high schools attend with over 1,700 runners from three other states besides Tennessee. This was the largest Bristol Cross in the history of the meet.