-- Red Bank senior Cole Bullock talks about his sixth place finish at Foot Locker South --
Henry County junior Silas Winders knew that having familiar faces at the front of the pack at Foot Locker South would help.
"During the race, getting with them and working together (helped)," he said. "For Tennessee...we're happy."
No state qualified more boys for Foot Locker Nationals in the South.
That's not bad.
Cole Bullock led the way in sixth place, right in front of 2017 All-American Jake Renfree, who's also heading to San Diego. The Red Bank senior said later that he keyed on where Renfree was throughout the race.
"Trying to stay calm as best as I could," Bullock said. "I try to stick with Jake Renfree because he's been to Foot Locker before. Overall, just staying calm."
Winders came in ninth this year after a 16th place finish a year ago as a sophomore. Qualifying for Foot Locker had been his main objective all season. And he made it happen.
"Been looking forward to this," he added. "Last year I got just out of the top ten. This year it was a priority and a goal. I was kind of nervous for the race but not for the conditions."
"I was coming in with a chip on my shoulder."
Beech senior David Ahlmeyer rounded out the star-studded group with a tenth place finish in 15:14. On a muddy, rainy day, he'll take it.
"The first stretch was crazy. It was like a dead sprint," he said. "Just knew I had to move up. Everywhere I had an opening I had to move up."
Ahlmeyer went out a bit more conservatively than the other Tennessee runners. But his strategy paid off to perfection.
"I'm more of an endurance guy. I knew a lot of those guys ahead of me would be moving backward. Half of those guys were going out way too fast," he said. "I counted some guys on one of the stretches. I saw the tenth guy come back to me and I had to go for him."
Sending four runners to Foot Locker is a big deal. And fans of cross country in Tennessee should take notice that even without Brodey Hasty in the mix, the state will still be represented at the national level. That's a big deal. And let's hope the momentum continues.