As the state meet creeps closer, weekend competitions are getting bigger and bigger.
This week is no exception.
Here are three things to watch for on the cross country course this weekend for Tennessee athletes.
Fast Times at the Greater Louisville Classic
Many Tennessee teams will head north to the Bluegrass State for the Greater Louisville Classic. This course at Tom Sawyer Park is a quick one, and this is a good time of year to run a new personal best.
Brentwood Academy, Brentwood High School and Webb School of Knoxville are all scheduled to compete against some of Kentucky's top teams. How will Niki Narayani run following her big performance in Georgia at the Wingfoot Classic? The Webb senior has the top time in the field at 18:12 after her win last weekend.
Henry County junior Silas Winders will be among the frontrunners in the guys race. Winders has run 15:40 this season. That came back on August 25 at the Voyles Classic in Middle Tennessee. Can he outrace a talented field on Kentucky runners for another win north of the Tennessee border?
If Brentwood Academy fields a varsity squad, they'll be among the frontrunners for the team championship on the guys side. The Eagles are coming off a win at Wingfoot in Georgia last week, which was the first time their entire top squad raced together. It'll be interesting to see how that talented team fares on such a quick course up in the Bluegrass State.
Who is the best team in Memphis?
That question is usually answered at the Frank Horton Invitational every year. This year's meet should be fantastic.
Houston High School's girls look to be the class of the field. The Mustangs have a slight advantage over Fayetteville High School and Arlington High School coming into the weekend. All three of those teams could finish within 20-30 points when it's all said and done.
On the guys side, Fayetteville (AR) senior Camren Fischer is the only runner with a sub-16 performance this season. He's the runaway favorite to take home the individual title. Collierville High School, Bartlett High School and Arlington will be in a tight battle for the top Tennessee team. Fayetteville will be tough to beat.
A New Phase of Training
No matter where Tennessee athletes are running this weekend, you could see some big time personal bests.
It's that time of the year where athletes are starting to gear up for championship racing. Believe it or not, we're just over a month away from the state championship, and before teams toe the line for region competitions, they'll run in their conferences.
It's time to ramp things up.
Over the next three weeks, you'll see a lot of personal and season bests. The state championship is such a challenge -- the rolling hills of Steeplechase are not kind for runners hoping for a PR. But over the next couple weeks, fast courses and better conditions will help our athletes out.