Tennessee runners raised the bar from 2010-2019.
So selecting an All-Decade Team was awfully difficult.
That's a good problem to have.
We had some tough choices to make on who grabbed the last couple of spots in our All-Decade Team. We were looking for runners who a.) ran the fastest times in the last 10 years, b.) sustained success over four years, and c.) performed well at state, regional and national competitions.
State championships were factored in. Performances at regional and national championships were heavily considered. And the ability to lead a team to a state or national championship was also a factor.
Let the conversation begin.
This was a fun trip down memory lane.
First Team All-Decade
Brodey Hasty (Brentwood) -- Of course this list starts with one of the all-time greats. Hasty upped the standard for individual athletes in the state of Tennessee. His accomplishments on the track are outstanding. But on the cross country course he had some of the all-time best performances in Tennessee history. Brodey's 14:36 to win Nike Southeast might be the best race in the last 10 years by a Tennessee runner. His runner-up finish at Nike Nationals was outstanding as well. He set the standard for distance runners from the Volunteer State. And his name is up there with the all-time greats to ever race a 5k in Tennessee.
Aaron Templeton (Hardin Valley Academy) -- The 2014 HVA graduate won six straight races his senior year. That included a 15:10 state championship run on Steeplechase in 2013. Aaron finished ninth at Foot Locker Nationals as a senior after winning the South Regional in 14:36. He won three individual state championships. Two of them were on the cross country course. Then he went on to have perhaps the best collegiate career of anyone on this list. Templeton finished fifth at the NCAA XC meet in 2018.
Jake Renfree (Knoxville Catholic) -- The only guy to finish as high as Jake Renfree at Foot Locker Nationals is Bowerman Track Club's Andrew Bumbalough. You can't have company better than that in the state of Tennessee. Renfree equaled Bumby's mark at the 2018 Foot Locker National Meet -- finishing second in 15:19. Few have won more titles than the 2018 Knox Catholic grad. Renfree won five state championships between the track and the cross country course.
Zach Long (Grainger High School) -- Like Aaron Templeton, Zach also had an outstanding college career after his four prep years running in East Tennessee. He won two state championships, was third at Foot Locker South and clocked in a career-best 14:58 in the process. And then he went on to set new school records for the Tennessee Volunteers in the 3,000 & 5,000. That's no small feat.
Silas Winders (Henry County High School) -- He's got the fastest time on this list. So obviously, Silas Winders makes our All-Decade Team. The Henry County product was consistently the first to cross the line all season long in the state of Tennessee this year. And he also made his second-straight Foot Locker National Championships. With a career-best of 14:29 from back in October, Winders holds the top spot this decade for Tennessee boys at 5,000 meters in cross country.
Adam Barnard (Daniel Boone High School) -- East Tennessee was well-represented on this list. Adam Barnard was the Nike Southeast Regional Champion in a blazing 14:44 back in 2014. That's the fourth-fastest career-best this past decade. He went on to finish fifth in 15:25...another one of the races of the decade...at Nike Nationals. East Tennessee, stand up. You all were well represented over the past 10 years.
Taylor Caldwell (Brentwood High School) -- Deciding this last spot took a minute. And by minute, I mean a lot of minutes. Taylor Caldwell won a Nike Southeast Championship back in 2013 with a 15:05. Then he went on to finish eighth at Nike Nationals, leading his Brentwood team to a third place finish. He was one of many No. 1 runners on the No. 1 team of the past decade. So he gets the final spot on this superb list.
Second Team All-Decade
Alec Thomas (Brentwood High School) -- Career-best of 15:00.20 at Great American in 2013 where he finished third. Was a part of Brentwood's third-place team at NXN in '13. Three-time All-State in XC.
Aaron Thomas (Brentwood High School) -- Career-best of 15:06.70 at Trinity in 2013 where he finished third. Was also a part of Brentwood's third-place team at NXN in '13. All-State in XC in 2012.
Taylor Vroon (Brentwood High School) -- One of eight TN runners to break 15 minutes this decade. Career-best of 14:57.40 at Great American in 2016 where he finished third. Runner-up to Brodey Hasty at State XC in 2016 and finished third in 2015.
Cole Bullock (Red Bank High School) -- Another one of the eight guys to break 15 this decade. Won the 2018 Cherokee Classic in 14:54.00. Finished third at the State Cross Country Championship last year.