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Crockett girls, Science Hill boys take Bristol Cross titles

Jeff Birchfield • Sep 28, 2019 at 4:50 PM

BRISTOL — The David Crockett girls cross country team picked up a historic victory Saturday at the Bristol Cross at Steele Creek Park.

The Lady Pioneers edged runner-up Science Hill 62-67 in the girls’ large school division to capture the largest meet that Crockett has won. Science Hill captured the boys’ title on a tiebreaker with Oak Ridge.

Rachel Dulaney finished sixth overall at 20:42 to lead Crockett’s winning efforts. It has been a banner year for the Lady Pioneers, who won the team title at their own Fenders Farm Carnival two weeks earlier.

“It means a lot to win this. We’ve all been working really hard this year,” Dulaney said. “We’ve been trying to encourage each other and it’s amazing to see the progress we’ve made.”

Emily Ward (21:06), Ashlynn Roy (22:11), Breanna Dunn (22:25) and Grace Krell (22:54) had scores count in the Lady Pioneers’ victory. A sixth runner, Valerie Sanders, finished in 24:55 to give Crockett a tiebreaker over the small schools Knoxville Ambassadors for an overall crown.

“It was a great day for us,” Crockett coach Lauren Chandley said. “Our freshmen girls — Ashlynn Roy and Breanna Dunn — came out and really did well. Grace Krell came up and beat an individual she needed to.

“Rachel Dulaney always runs hard and Emily Ward performed really well. It’s really exciting for us.”

Trinny Duncan (21:27) paced runner-up Science Hill with a 14th-place individual. Ashley Doyle (21:36), Destiny Haller (21:48), Jordan McIntosh (22:216) and Taryn Seeley (23:01) also provided points.

The Lady ’Toppers were without star runner Jenna Hutchins, who was racing in Arizona — where she ran the third-fastest time in the country at 16:38.

With Hutchins absent, Kelsey Harrington of Virginia High easily won the girls’ individual race. Her time of 18:28 was over a minute faster than runner-up Savannah Rivera of the Knoxville Ambassadors. Zoe Arrington of Tennessee High finished third at 20:18.

LARGE SCHOOL BOYS

Science Hill captured the team crown on a tiebreaker after the Hilltoppers and Oak Ridge both finished with 105 points. Aaron Jones led the Hilltoppers with his 17:15 run, good for a fourth-place overall finish.

Jones led the first lap of the race before being overtaken by the heat and three of his competitors on the second lap. He feels good about his chances when the ’Toppers return for the Big 11 Conference meet in three weeks.

“I got off to a strong start,” Jones said. “But then, the heat really got to me. I had a hard week of training and it zapped my legs when we hit that second lap.

“By the time we get to conference here, I should be in better shape and it shouldn’t be as hot. I know what to expect next time and what I’ve got to work on.”

Zach Cooper (18:23), Ray Richardson (19:03), Steven Johnson (19:12) and Tatum Mackie (19:32) also scored points for the Hilltoppers.

“They ran strong today. They were a little disappointed in the times, but being this hot and a course more hilly than we’re used to, they did well,” Science Hill coach David Nutter said. “It’s a race we can build on. There are some things we might need to tweak.

“Their splits were a little slower than I would have liked, but when you look at a course like this, they’re about where I want them and I’m happy with their performance.”

SMALL SCHOOLS

Two-time defending state champion University High finished 12th in the boys’ small schools competition. However when the season turns to the postseason, several of the schools in front of them will be racing in other divisions. Nick Daniel had the Bucs’ fastest time at 19:02.

University High also placed sixth in the girls’ small schools division. It was a good learning experience for the Bucs, according to coach Maggie Whitson.

“When they come out here on a hot day on a lot of hills with a lot of good competition, it makes them a little more humble,” Whitson said. “Hopefully, this will help us get ready for the state meet in November.”

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