Washington County squads amongst state’s best; Jeb Jones, Roy earn all-state

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Nov 4, 2017 at 5:50 PM

NASHVILLE — All four larger school teams from Washington County posted top-10 finishes at the TSSAA State Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Percy Warner Park.

The Daniel Boone boys finished ninth with 225 points, just three points ahead of 10th place Science Hill. In the girls’ competition, David Crockett was eighth and Daniel Boone finished 10th.

Two individual runners, Jeb Jones of Science Hill and Breanna Roy of David Crockett, earned all-state honors.

“I was wanted to run as hard as I could and see what I could do,” said Jones, who finished ninth overall at 16:20. “It’s awesome. Last year, I was running JV because of TSSAA rules. This year to come to the state meet and to get all-state, it was a happy moment for me. I’m proud of my team and what we did here.”

It was the third all-state honor for Roy, who missed out last season with an injury. Back healthy, she finished sixth in the state at 19:11, which was 56 seconds behind the winning time of 18:15 by individual champion Sasha Neglia of Dobyns-Bennett.

“It feels good to be back,” Roy said. “I felt pretty good on mile one. Come mile two, I kinda of died, but mile three, I continued to breathe and came back stronger. I was able to regain my focus.”

Daniel Boone had a laser-like focus, the first time in 19 years that both the boys and girls made the state meet. The girls responded with their best-ever finish in larger school competition.

Mason Lewis led the boys with a 16:45 to finish 18th individually. Chance Bowman, Matt Huff, Peyton Baines and Austin Galloway also scored for the Trailblazers.

Maria Chellah, Gracie Murray, Judy Chellah, Erin Bruce and Patricia Chellah all scored for the Daniel Boone girls.

“It was a great day for the program, the school and the community,” Boone coach Len Jeffers said. “It was fun to have both teams here. Only three of the 14 (runners) are seniors, and 12 of the 14 had never run in the state meet before. With the youthfulness and inexperience of the team, I thought it was a great day.”

Science Hill coach Evan Adams pointed out the youth on the Hilltoppers’ boys as well. Three sophomores, Aaron Jones, Dylan Pogue, Ray Richardson, and senior Justin Canfield added points to Science Hill’s total.

“They’ve had a great season to be so young,” Adams said. “It’s awesome to be top 10 after losing some good seniors. To have a building year, but to come back this strong, it’s exciting.”

Crockett coach Mark Jennings was pleased his Lady Pioneers nearly had two runners earn all-state honors. Rachel Dulaney just missed it by two positions and was just a second out of the top 15. Taylor Roy, Emmaline Hulse and Halle Scott also scored for David Crockett

Among the individuals, Science Hill’s Gabrielle Mardis ran 20:00 to finish 25th.

Dobyns-Bennett was third in the team standings, and Neglia finished nearly 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Landri Wilcox of Cookeville in the individual race.

“Sasha was Sasha and she was really good,” Dobyns-Bennett coach Bob Bingham said. “She is a two-time state champion and not many people can say that. She obliterated the field just like she did last year. She’s a special talent.”

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