Weekend Review: 9/25

There were lots of big performances over the weekend from Tennesseans inside and outside the state.

A few teams put down big performances, and the latest installment in a growing matchup of Knoxville athletes didn't disappoint.

Out in Bristol, two East Tennessee runners continued their hot starts to the season -- Sasha Neglia and Carter Coughlin.

Neglia won her third race in as many tries this weekend at Bristol Cross, crossing the line first in 18:22.8. Couglin, from Webb School of Knoxville, edged out Jake Renfree for the individual title in the boys race. 

That's the third time those two have raced this season. Coughlin won the first meeting at the Cherokee Classic, but Renfree bested him at the Cherokee Farms Classic. Moving forward this season, that's continuing to be a fun matchup to watch.

Out at the Austin Peay Cross-Country Festival, Clarksville High School's McKlain Kirkpatrick turned in an elite performance, dropping below the 16-minute mark. Kirkpatrick outran the field by nearly a minute, winning the race and leading his team to a second place finish.

That's two personal bests this month for Kirkpatrick, who took nearly a minute off of his PR with his win at Austin Peay. At the Beech Invite on September 9th, Kirkpatrick set a new personal best of 16:42. And now he's under 16 minutes.

After his win over the weekend, Kirkpatrick has the 11th-fastest time in the state so far this season.

Down in Georgia at the Wingfoot Classic, another runner made a big leap in our state rankings. Brentwood Academy's Matthew McMillan set a personal best, dropping below 16 minutes for the first time in his career. 

McMillan led BA to a second place finish at the prestigious Wingfoot XC Classic, finishing behind Milton, a Georgia power with a great chance to qualify for Nike Nationals.

McMillan's time of 15:59 makes him the 13th-fastest runner in the state this season.

And his team made a major statement as well. The Eagles averaged a 16:22, keeping their one-through-five split at just 36 seconds. After their performance, the Eagles extended their lead on the rest of the state in our team rankings.

They're still closely followed by Oakland, who finished seventh in the second division at the Wingfoot Classic.

1BrentwoodA Academy (TN)158
1) Matthew McMillan15:59.5613
2) Matthew Porter16:15.0122
3) George Payne16:17.0628
4) Jackson Gregory16:26.8440
5) Cayden Durrough16:36.1755
Average Time: 16:18.93 Total Time: 1:21:34.64 1-5 Split: 36.61
6) Eddie Lunn17:02.61114
7) Asher Lyday17:15.76157
2Oakland High School (TN)202
1) David Carlton16:15.1823
2) Brice Walkowski16:15.6224
3) Ryan Phillips16:15.8125
4) Dalt Kerschieter16:33.8152
5) Ransom Lester16:46.7478
Average Time: 16:25.43 Total Time: 1:22:07.16 1-5 Split: 31.56
6) Dalton Kerschieter16:52.8089
7) Tyler Walls17:21.08175

Also down in Geogia, Brentwood Academy senior Meredith Helton ran the second fastest time of the weekend. Helton is the defending Division II-AA state champion, and she's continuing to build on her strong junior season. 

At the McCallie XC Invite, more Division II teams squared off. And two Chattanooga private schools came away victorious. 

The girls race featured a team title for Baylor, who had one of the smallest one-through-five splits in the meet. Harpeth Hall was only 15 points back, which should provide a fun race down the road in Division II.

The guys race featured a surprising result. McCallie won its own meet, defeating Oak Ridge and Montgomery Bell Academy who weren't far behind. The Blue Tornadoes ran in a tight pack, putting six runners in the top 15. They all crossed the line within 29 seconds of each other. Oak Ridge's average time (16:59) was only two seconds back of the home team. But McCallie finished with 52 points to Oak Ridge's 65.