Week In Review: Postseason Racing Begins

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Dobyns Bennett Freshman Sasha Neglia

This week marks the beginning of the state championship, a grueling process of qualification that culminates in the TSSAA State Championship Meet on November 5th in Nashville.

But first, the regular season had to come to a close.

Conference meets all around the state marked the end of the regular season for many teams. Conference championships pit teams against each other across TSSAA classifications.  The MSCCA Meet in Dickson, the Big 7 Conference meet in Bristol and Metro Nashville XC Championships at Steeplechase all provided good regional competition between teams who won't see race at state.

Starting in the mid state, the Metro Nashville Championships is a good preview for runners on the state meet course. MBA senior Will Peters won the race in 16:20, an impressive time for such a hilly course.

A 16:20 would have won Peters the state championship last year in Division II-AA, and gotten him third place in 2014. It should be a fast year at the top in that Division II-AA race, with Brentwood Academy's Carter Cheeseman and Davis Holliday vying with Peters for the top spot. Cheeseman and Holliday were the top two finishers at last year's championship.

Father Ryan's Jack Clunan and Jonathan Conricode finished 2nd and 3rd at the Metro XC Championships. While Montgomery Bell Academy took the team victory with 29 points, Father Ryan was closely behind with 34. That'll be a close matchup to watch for a spot on the podium in a few weeks.

The MSCCA Championship in Dickson featured a big day from the Ravenwood High School girls, who won the prestigious meet with 47 points. Led by first place finisher Annika Sleenhoff, the Raptors edged out Brentwood Academy. The Eagles were without top runner Claire Cheeseman due to injury, but still averaged 20:44 on the difficult course.

The Ravenwood girls and BA girls both figure to play major roles in its respective state meets. Combined girls team scores show Ravenwood as the state's top team entering the postseason, closely followed by Dobyns Bennett and Brentwood Academy. Just six points separate Dobyns Bennett and Ravenwood in today's standings. That AAA girls race is shaping up to be the closest on November 5th.

The top three teams in the state faced off in the boys race at the MSCCA Championship Meet. Brentwood High's elite front pack carried the Bruins to yet another victory. Brodey Hasty, Taylor Vroon and Jackson Vroon finished first through third, followed by Brentwood Academy's Carter Cheeseman in fourth. Wilson Central, the third best team in the combined state standings, finished with 170 points in third.

Brentwood High and Brentwood Academy both had good days. The Eagles finished with 64 points, with Brentwood High taking the championship with 40 points.

The Big 7 Conference Meet in Bristol, Tennessee showed us once again how good the Dobyns Bennett girls really are.

DB Freshman Sasha Neglia won the individual title, running a course record time of 18:20. Dobyns Bennett put its top five within the top ten finishers in the race, winning the conference with 22 points.

Ben Varghese was just as dominant in the boys race. The Daniel Boone senior also set a new course record, running a 15:36 for the individual title. Science Hill senior Alex Crigger also put up a good time, taking second with a 16:07. Behind Varghese's dominant performance, Daniel Boone finished the day with 22 points and a team title.

With region action soon to get underway, we'll have you covered with everything you need to get ready for the state championships.

It's that time of year at last.