Athletes from all over the state competed for qualification into the state competition over the weekend. And In Middle Tennessee, some teams were able to compete on the state course at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.
Here are three observations on notable performances that caught our eye in the mid-state.
Ravenwood's Boys Pulled off a Big Upset
In region six, Ravenwood came in on the outside looking in on the state picture. But on Thursday, the Raptors were able to punch their ticket to the State Championship.
But they didn't just advance. They won.
Matthew Rigsby led the way with a second place finish on Steeplechase. His time of 16:39 is a good one given the conditions on the Percy Warner course. It was a cold, windy day on a hilly course. So that time will likely earn him an All-State spot next weekend. His leadership was crucial to get Ravenwood's upset bid going.
Kevin Frost and Jack Dang were able to stick together, which gave the Raptors two more top-ten finishes. That support was huge. Their ability to run together and help each other will be vital at the State Meet. Because as it stands, the Raptors aren't a top-20 team in the Large Schools division.
However, behind the leadership of Rigsby, Frost and Dang, Ravenwood beat the No. 7 team large school, Independence.
I expect this team to continue to surprise us. They've got that momentum you need at this point in the season. Their 1-5 average was nearly 30 seconds better than the rest of the field on Thursday. And running their region meet at Steeplechase certainly won't hurt, either.
I can't mention Ravenwood or the reigon six results without giving some praise to the girls team as well. Annika Sleenhof led the Raptors to a sizable victory. They're one of my dark-horse teams to win the large schools division.
Central Magnet Girls Belong in Large Schools Division
Central Magnet is a newcomer to the newly classified "large schools" division. And at the region four championship, it proved that it belonged.
CMS came up with the region title, despite being ranked second coming into the race. Getting five runners in the top 15 certainly doesn't hurt.
That seems to be a running theme this time of year. Tight packs win championships.
And Central Magnet has a close one.
It's only their first year in the larger schools division, but this team is here to stay. Winning a title in your first try at a new league is impressive.
Now they'll tackle their first state meet as a "large school" this weekend. I think they're up for the challenge.
Winders Brothers: Still Fast
In case we all needed a reminder, the Winders brothers showed just how good they are at the region five championship. And in past years, Henry County has had great individual performances at the State Meet. This year, they are ready to make some noise as a team.
For the sixth time this season, Titus and Silas Winders finished first and second. They're still batting a perfect 1.000 on the year when it comes to top two finishes.
Henry County only had a one point advantage on Rossview coming into the meet. And it was a close finish.
But with the Winders brothers' top two finish, they were able to win by five.
As it stands, Henry County is ranked No. 21 in the Large Schools division. But I'm expecting a much bigger performance from these guys. I think if Titus and Silas can finish in the top five, this is a top ten team. Titus' 15:12 is the fastest time of any qualifier.
Silas comes in at No. 7, but if he and his brother can control the tempo of the race, I think he finishes second or third. Their chemistry and experience leading meets has already come in handy at big competitions this season. I don't expect it to be any different at State.