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'Blazers sixth at state meet, SH's Crigger fourth individually

Johnson City Press • Nov 5, 2016 at 8:05 PM

NASHVILLE — The Daniel Boone boys’ cross country team finished sixth on Saturday at the Class AAA state cross country championships at Percy Warner Park.

Science Hill’s Alex Crigger paced all local individuals with a fourth-place finish. He ran a 15:49 on the steeplechase course.

Crigger’s finish came after Boone star Ben Varghese collapsed as he was leading the race with a half mile to go. Varghese was admitted to Vanderbilt hospital after the race, but was in good condition on Saturday night.

Despite their top runner sidelined, it was the Trailblazers’ sixth year of finishing among the top six teams in the state.

“The boys ran great,” Boone coach Len Jeffers said. “It was a great team effort, a great team race. It was unfortunate for Ben, but we’re glad he’s OK. He will be back to fight another day. The boys did what we asked of them and it was a good showing for the team.” 

Zac Branham paced Boone with a 21st place effort. The ‘Blazers also got points from Chance Bowman (29th), Caleb Sells (36th), Matt Huff (66th) and Connor Loyd.

Science Hill finished 15th in the team standings.

Beyond Crigger’s top showing, the Hilltoppers had Thomas Seeley, Aaron Jones, Gavin Ledford and Cole Benedict.

Dobyns-Bennett freshman Sasha Neglia won the Class AAA girls’ race with a 17:32 time. Her sister, Sophia, also was all-state with a 13th place finish. As a team, D-B finished second in the team standings, 77-105, to state champion Ravenwood.

Science Hill senior Halle Hausman ran a 18:21 and earned her fourth all-state honor with a fifth-place finish individually. She also led the Lady ’Toppers to a 10th place team finish.

Gabrielle Mardis, Casey Miller, Destiny Haller and Taylor Canfield also scored for Science Hill.

David Crockett’s Taylor Roy barely missed all-state with a 19th place run, while her sister, Breanna, was two spots behind in 21st.

Elizabethton finished eighth in the Class A-AA ranks with Heather Feuchtenberger (20:11) earning all-state by placing 10th as an individual.

Lauren Pilkton, Maci Shell, Randi Feuchtenberger and Julia Schubert tallied points for the Lady Cyclones.

University High was one spot behind, ninth in the team standings and just 10 points behind Elizabethton.

Bekah Owen was 20th individually to lead the Lady Bucs. Ali Burns, Cora Allison, Ashley Daniel and Julia Gobel scored for University High.

Unicoi County’s Megan Todd finished 31st out of the 181 runners.

On the boys’ side, Porter Bradley of University High missed all-state by just one spot, finishing in 17 minutes even to place 16th in the final rundown. Pablo Rivas also had a strong showing for the Bucs with a 26th place effort.

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