Believe it or not, it's already time for postseason.
TSSAA Region Meets start this weekend. And we're kicking off our region previews with an early look at the region one competition in Northeast Tennessee.
In AAA, Daniel Boone has been a staple at the boys state championship.
This year should be no different.
Boone comes in with three of the fastest five runners in the region so far this year.
Chance Bowman, Matt Huff and Mason Lewis are all projected to be up front for Daniel Boone. If those three can pack up and run together up front, then they'll have the luxury of saving energy for the state meet next weekend.
Daniel Boone is projected to finish with 39 points. They'll certainly punch their ticket to Nashville.
Next up is Science Hill, who will ride its frontrunner.
Jeb Jones is one of the breakout performers in Tennessee this year. He's likely the favorite to finish first.
Battling for the final spot, Dobyns Bennett and Morristown-West are separated by four points in the initial projections. West has a tight pack of runners that should finish in the mid to high 20s. That pack will likely make the difference.
And they'll face off one more time before the state championship next weekend.
Neglia's Dobyns Bennett team is a slight favorite over Roy's David Crockett. And it will be a major player at the state championship as well. DB is projected to have its entire top five within the top ten of the race.
So those two teams are virtual locks.
But the battle for third will be tight.
Daniel Boone and Science Hill aren't separated by much going into postseason racing.
Boone's small 1-5 split made the difference when the two teams faced off last weekend at the Big 11 Conference Meet.
3 Daniel Boone High School 54 8 9 11 12 14 15 24 Total Time: 1:44:14 Average: 20:50.70 1-5 Split: 32 4 Science Hill High School 78 3 13 17 19 26 27 - Total Time: 1:48:52 Average: 21:46.36 1-5 Split: 4:35
It could be that close on Friday as well. Science Hill has the advantage on season bests. But Daniel Boone has the momentum.
University School of Johnson City is projected to run away with this competition.
In fact, they'll be major players at the state meet too. They are projected to finish with a perfect score behind a strong front pack.
University School of Johnson City has the fastest five times in the region this year all on the same team.
A freshman is one of the projected frontrunners in the A-AA boys region meet.
The underclassman is the only runner under 19 minutes this season. He ran 18:35 at the Blue Ridge Championship for third place.
His team has a solid chance to advance as well. They're projected to finish third.
Like the boys, University School of Johnson City will run away with this competition.
They have the four fastest times in the region so far this year.
South Greene comes in with top two runners in 1-A-AA as well. They'll be in contention for a qualification spot.
Only 49 girls have posted times this season, so it's hard to get a good grasp at how the team battle will shake up. But expect University School of Johnson City to be major players up top in both the boys and girls races.