Week in Review: Fast Times on Fast Courses

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Cherokee Classic and Trinity/Valkyrie are two of the flattest and fastest courses that Tennessee teams run.

They didn't disappoint last weekend.

Starting in Knoxville at the Cherokee Classic, the girls race was the Rebecca Story show. The Christian Academy of Knoxville junior ran away with the race, finishing in a 17:24.60 for a big victory. Sasha Neglia, from Dobbyns Bennett, was the only other girl in the race who broke 18 minutes. She would finish second in 17:53.24.

Neglia's performance would spark Dobyns Bennett to a big team victory. With a 19:08 team average, they took home the team title with 46 points. Farragut would finish runners up with 138.

On the guys side, Ben Varghese and Daniel Boone were dominant. Varghese took the individual championship, running a 15:11.80. Teammates Zach Branham (7th place, 16:23.02) and Matt Huff (15th place, 16:43.90) weren't too far behind. Boone finished with 61 points, good for first place over Oak Ridge with 83.

Up in Kentucky, another flat and fast course provided more good times.

At the Trinity/Valkyrie Invite, it was a Division II standout who ran the fastest time among Tennessee runners -- Montgomery Bell Academy's Will Peters. Peters ran 16:07.38 for 19th place, closely followed by divisional rival Jack Clunan from Father Ryan, who finished 27th in 16:14.60.

Ravenwood's Annika Sleenhof joined the sub-18 club in the girls race, finishing in fourth place with her 17:40.40. Her low score would help propel the Raptors to a sixth place finish in the prestigious race. 

Ravenwood averaged 19:26.72, finishing with 201 points, just 12 points shy of third place Hilliard Davidson.

The Jr. Ward Tennessee Classic features a much tougher course than Cherokee and Trinity, but featured some good teams who will be competitive come November.

Arlington sophomore Erica Fisher won the girls race in 18:48.90, but it was Science Hill who came out with the victory. The Hilltoppers edged Harpeth Hall, securing the victory with 76 points and a 20:41.62 average.

Science Hill standout Alex Crigger won the guys race (16:13.60), but Wilson Central's veteran pack cruised to the team title. Central scored 29 points, averaging 16:41.64 with a 32 second gap between its first and fourth runners.

Those four runners finished second through fifth.

This weekend there's action all across the state of Tennessee.

In West Tennessee, the Frank Horton Invitational takes off on Saturday. The guys race always promises a good competition between Christian Brothers and Memphis University School, which will begin to shape the early outlook in Division II.

Middle Tennessee teams will clash at the Sharp Springs Invitational in Smyrna, headlined by the Brentwood Academy girls. 

In East Tennessee, the McCallie Invite will provide more fast times like we saw this past weekend.

There's a little over a month left before the State Championship. We'll be on the lookout for more big performances this weekend.

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