Three region six squads lead the way in the Division One Large Schools girls team title race
The state meet starts with Division One Large Schools.
And on the guys side, it will feature one of the best team battles of the week at the 2020 Tennessee State Cross Country Championship.
Let's start with the boys race that features four teams we see as neck-and-neck through the regular season.
Bartlett High School has been our top-ranked guys team in Tennessee for most of the season. Landen McNair has had a big year as the number one runner, finishing with a season-best 15:14.70 back in early September.
They've got a slight edge, but this is truly anybody's race.
Franklin High School and three-time defending champion Siegel High School lead the other contenders.
The Admirals brought home the region six title last week led by a fifth-place finish from Hudson Hurst. They edged out Brentwood by five points, who should also be in the mix for this team championship.
But the Stars have won the last three state championships and appear to be peaking at the right time this year as well. They were the second-best Tennessee team at Jesse Owens and took home a region four championship last week with a solid 35-point display.
Hardin Valley Academy leads the challengers out of Knoxville. Kaden Keller leads their squad with a 16:05 season best and number five runner Nathan Hillis has run 16:25 this year. The Hawks have the best one through five split in this field, making them a candidate for a podium finish too if they race well.
On the girls side, Brentwood High School has had a marvelous 2020 campaign.
But region rival Independence High School made things awfully close at the region championship last week.
The Bruins took the win 55 to 65, led by a third-place finish by Kaitlyn Vanderkolk, but they'll be challenged once again this week at state by the Eagles.
Both teams could have three all-state runners, so look for the No. 5 finisher for each team to play a huge role in deciding the state championship.
Franklin High School looks like the other main challenger. The Admirals were only six points back of Indy at the region meet, led by Madison Lanai in seventh.
The Division One Large Schools championship kicks off the 2020 Tennessee State Cross Country Championship at 10:00 AM CT in Hendersonville on Thursday morning.