Five Biggest Breakout Performers in 2017


With the 2017 season coming to an end soon, we took a look at some of the biggest improvements made by athletes across the state.

Here are five breakout performers this season:

Devin Sullivan -- Knoxville Catholic

Season Results:

2017
15:40.87KIL Championship3rdFinals>
16:26.30Bristol Cross4thFinals>
16:08.00Cherokee Farm Invitational3rdFinals>
15:44.94Cherokee Classic3rdFinals>

Sullivan is yet to finish outside the top four in a race this season. 

In his final season at the high school level, Sullivan has become a frontrunner for the Fighting Irish at big meets across East Tennessee.

Last season he was 7th at the KIL Championships running 16:31. This season, he knocked 51 seconds off that time to finish third.

He was 31st at the Foot Locker South meet a year ago with a time of 16:53. If all goes well, he'll have a shot at a top ten spot this time around.

Jeb Jones -- Science Hill

Season Results:

2017
16:11.51Cherokee Invitational4thFinals>
16:22.78Junior Ward TENNESSEE CLASSIC1stFinals>
15:50.90Eye Opener1stFinals>

Jones has made a big move this season as a junior.

And his team needed him to do so. Former Science Hill standout Alex Crigger is now at Tennessee, contributing for the Vols as a freshman.

But Jones has stepped up, breaking 16 minutes for the first time in week one of the season. Jones had only run faster than 17 minutes three times prior to this season.

He's knocked 40 seconds off his personal best just this season, and there's still time to get that PR even lower.

Landri Wilcox -- Cookeville High School

Season Results: 

2017
19:07.31MSCCA Championships2ndFinals>
18:08.46Jesse Owens Classic3rdFinals>
18:55.50Burnett Invitational1stFinals>
19:04.51McCallie XC Invite1stFinals>
18:40.33DeKalb County High School Invitational1stFinals>
18:31.33Cherokee Classic5thFinals>
18:44.24Voyles Classic1stFinals>
19:33.40Macon County, Macon Bank Invitational1stFinals>

Wilcox belongs on this list because she's only a freshman.

And in her first season as a high schooler, she has five wins and seven top three finishes.

Not too shabby.

Wilcox also won the prestigious Voyles Classic in her second race. She's currently No. 3 in the state rankings and is still improving. Her 18:08 at Jesse Owens asserted herself as a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses.

In Wilcox's first appearance at the State Meet in a few weeks, expect big things from the Cookeville freshman.

Breanna Roy -- David Crockett High School

Season Results: 

2017
19:17.5045th Trailblazer Invitational2ndFinals>
19:35.42Furman Gene Mullin Invitational2ndFinals>
19:17.00Fenders Farm Cross Country Carnival2ndFinals>
18:21.05Cherokee Classic3rdFinals>
19:20.50Terry Hull Crawford Cross Country Classic1stFinals>
19:21.10Run for the Hills1stFinals>

From a time perspective, Roy is the biggest mover on this list.

Her personal best in 2016 was 19:38. Now it's 18:21.

Roy was finished in the top three in all of her races this season, winning her first two competitions.

She had never finished in the top three before this season. With her personal best at the Cherokee Classic, Roy is the fifth fastest runner in the state heading into region and state competition in the coming weeks.

Meghan Underwood -- Briarcrest Christian School

Season Results:

2017
18:49.00West TN Championships1stFinals>
19:19.00MYA HS #41stFinals>
19:02.20Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival24thFinals>
22:34.00MYA HS #2 MAKE UP2ndFinals>
20:03.04West Tennessee Fall Classic3rdFinals>
19:13.00MYA HS #11stFinals>
18:59.64Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic4thFinals>

Underwood has a state championship to her name on the track. And now that speed is translating to the grass.

She won the Division II 800 meter run last May, and she's added a few more wins this cross country season as well.

In 2016, her season best was 21:12. With her win at the West Tennessee Championships, she crushed that time. 

Underwood will have a good shot at the Division II-AA state championship at the state championship meet in a few weeks. With her three wins this season, she's got the experience of running up front in a big race. 

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