Week In Review: Middle School State Meet Takes Center Stage

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Daniel Boone senior Ben Varghese finishes first (15:23.5) at the Trailblazer Invitational in Gray, Tennessee. 

This past weekend in cross country featured racing from Kentucky to Knoxville, with the TMSAA State Cross Country Meet taking center stage in Clarksville.

The middle school state championship at Austin Peay University showcased top young talent from around the state. 

Starting with the Class A girls race, state champion Dinah Winders from Henry County ran away with the victory, posting a 12:24.08. Winders was closely followed by Brianna Burgess, a sixth-grader from Charlotte Middle. 

Samantha Ouellette led Central Magnet to the Class A state championship, finishing third place with a 12:46.77. Central Magnet scored 97 points and averaged 14:02 over the two mile race for the victory.

The Class A boys race was contested tightly by a good front pack of runners. South Middle's Aydan Yates took first in 11:17.87, followed by Fairview Middle's William Perry who clocked in at 11:21.70. Perry crossed the line a mere hundredth of a second ahead of third place finisher Irving Medina (11:21.71).

Perry's run near the front helped lead Fairview to the team title, finishing with 38 points. Central Magnet took second with 62 points.

The girls Class AA race featured an impressive 1-2 punch from Maryville Junior High. The duo of Andie Marie Jones (11:30.97) and Kelly Wetteland (11:34.69) led the race. Those two seventh-graders were the top two finishers. But that wouldn't be enough for the team title. John Sevier Middle put a tight pack in the top fifteen, averaging a 13:06 and claiming victory with 58 points.

Greeneville Middle's Colby Freeman posted a 10:39.16 to claim the Class AA state championship. Freeman's time placed him 25 seconds ahead of second place finisher Liam Hussels (11:05.30). The team race in boys AA mirrored the girls event. John Sevier Middle's tight pack of Joe Neglia (3rd place), Jackson Farr (10th place), Justin Knittle (14th place) and Will Everett (15th place) was enough to claim the state title. 

In Knoxville, the KIL Championships saw a clash of Knoxville's best at Cherokee Boulevard.

In the girls race, the 1-2 punch of Rebecca Story and Taylor Cosey proved to be too much for the rest of the field. Story's first place finish in 17:15 was followed by Cosey's fourth place time of 18:34. CAK's average time of 19:39 and 82 points was good for a ten point victory over Hardin Valley.

The boys competition saw another close team battle. Knoxville Catholic, led by second place finisher Georde Goodwyn (16:03) and third place finisher Jake Renfree (16:18) would win the team title. The Fighting Irish finished with 71 points, ten points ahead of Hardin Valley in second. 

Webb junior Carter Coughlin won the individual race in 15:51.

It was a bit of a down weekend in the high school ranks, but Montgomery Bell Academy's Will Peters still managed to put up a big time in Owensboro, Kentucky. Peters finished second place in the Fast Cats Classic, running a 15:36.93. 

The Trailblazer Invite in Gray, Tennessee featured another impressive display from Ben Varghese and the Daniel Boone boys. Varghese won the race by over a minute, clocking in at 15:23.5 all by himself. The Boone boys won the team title with 36 points and a 16:43 average. The girls race was a similar story, with Dobyns-Bennett's Sasha Neglia winning by over a minute with a 18:20.5.

This upcoming weekend includes a big showdown in the mid-state. The MSCCA Championship always provides fast times, and will include the latest installment in the Brentwood-Brentwood Academy rivalry on the boys and girls side.

As always, stay tuned for results, meet coverage and more as the TSSAA State Cross Country Championships draw closer.