Weekend Rewind: TN Athletes Hit the Road


There was a lot of fast competition across the Southeast over the weekend.

And many of those meets featured runners from the state of Tennessee.

But first, let's start inside the state borders.

In Knoxville, the KIL Championship provided the first championship meet for athletes in Knox County. And on the flat Cherokee Boulevard course.

Knoxville Catholic came away with the team title, but once again it was Carter Coughlin taking the individual championship.

Coughlin broke 15 minutes for the first time, navigating the course in 14:57. The senior from Webb finished first for the fourth time this season. His only runner up finish this season came to Jake Renfree at Cherokee Farms. 

Renfree was second at KIL, running 15:28. He was twelve seconds ahead of Devin Sullivan, who continues to work his way up to the senior Renfree. With that 1-2 punch getting faster and also closer together, it makes Catholic a real power moving forward.

The Fighting Irish finished with 45 points, averaging 16:13. That's thirty seconds than what last year's team ran at this meet. And that included Georde Goodwyn, now at the University of Tennessee, who finished second a year ago.

That's a major progression for a young Knoxville Catholic team. I expect them to make some major noise in November in Nashville.

Story Wins Again

CAK's Rebecca Story was back on the course Saturday, finishing first once again at the Wendy's Invite. 

Story wasn't just the only runner under 17:30. She was the only girl to finish under 18 minutes, taking the championship in 17:23.

That's only her second race of the season after opening up with a win at the Cherokee Farms Invitational. She's been able to manage the opening of the season well, saving energy for bigger national competitions later on in the year. 

But her top challenger in Tennessee also laid down a nice time outside the state this weekend. Sophomore Sasha Neglia was sixth at Great American, running 17:48. So far this season, Story and Neglia are the only runners to venture below 18 minutes.

Neglia was able to peak at the right time last season, running her personal best at the state meet. And given the challenges of the Steeplechase course, that's some feat.

She'll have a good chance to break 17:30 for the first time in the coming weeks.

Top Finishers at Jesse Owens

Many of the fastest times run by Tennesseans over the weekend happened down in Decatur, Alabama at the Jesse Owens Classic. 

RANKTIMEATHLETE/TEAMGRADEMEET DATEPLACE
117:23.35
Christian Academy of Knoxville
2018
217:48.00
Dobyns Bennett High School
2020
318:08.46
Cookeville High School
2021
418:50.92
Independence High School
2020
518:55.07
Anderson County High School
2019
619:01.67
Siegel High School
2018
719:02.67
Dresden High School
2019
819:04.14
Station Camp High School
2019
919:07.12
Houston High School
2021
1019:08.21
Siegel High School
2021

Seven of the top ten times came from Jesse Owens, which isn't a surprise based on how quick that course can run. Landri Wilcox moved to No. 3 on the state ranking, making a big move up the leaderboard.

On the guys' side, there was a similar pattern. Nine of the weekend's top ten were from Alabama.
RANKTIMEATHLETE/TEAMGRADEMEET DATEPLACE
115:47.06
Centennial High School
2019
215:48.61
Maryville High School
2018
316:01.69
Siegel High School
2018
416:02.94
Chattanooga Christian School
2020
516:12.53
Franklin High School
2019
616:13.60
Campbell Co. High School
2018
716:16.79
Beech Senior High School
2019
816:21.14
Siegel High School
2020
916:21.99
Central Magnet High School
2020
1016:26.92
Nolensville High School
2020

You can check out how that impacted the state rankings here. We're close to title time, with regional competitions gearing up this weekend. We'll have more coverage this week leading up to a big Saturday of championship racing.
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