Teams to Watch: 2020 TN DII-A State Cross Country Meet

St George's sophomore Lauren Rutlin leads her team into the state meet as the favorite in DII-A

State is one day closer.

So let's take a look at the Division II Small Schools classification for the Tennessee State Cross Country Championship.

Top runner and defending state champion Allison Newman has been dealing with an injury and is not listed in the entries for the DII-A state championship.

That makes the team battle more interesting.

St. George's still has a strong front pack though, led by Lauren Rutlin's 18:12.15 season-best. Maggie Wilson and Grayce Thompson will both have good chances at finishing in all-state positions as well.

The Gryphons won the meet for the first time in their school's history last year after a second-place finish in 2018.

Here's what their top seven has looked like this year.

St. George's Independent School (TN)
1) Allison Newman18:02.5
2) Lauren Rutlin18:12.2
3) Maggie Wilson20:23.0
4) Gracye Thompson21:09.1
5) Megan Yost21:16.4
Average Time: 19:48.62 Total Time: 1:39:03.08 1-5 Split: 3:13.86
6) Sienna LIghtman21:48.5
7) Emma Clayton23:16.5

Webb School of Knoxville looks like the top challenger.

The Spartans are led by Anna Graves, who comes in with the sixth-fastest season best in the league at 19:43. She'll have a solid shot at a top ten finish.

But Christ Presbyterian Academy is also right there in the mix. The Lions have a small gap between front three runners Anni Routh, Lacy Sheppard and Emmy Fisher.

Here's their top seven this year.

Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN)
1) Anni Routh20:38.7
2) Lacy Sheppard20:49.0
3) Emmy Fisher21:11.3
4) Mimi Moore22:58.0
5) Ellie Calhoun23:22.6
Average Time: 21:47.94 Total Time: 1:48:59.68 1-5 Split: 2:43.93
6) Alex Dauphin23:25.3
7) Olivia Fritts23:29.0

Switching over to the guys side, it looks like Harding Academy has a slight edge over Webb School of Knoxville and University School of Nashville.

The Lions are looking for their first cross country state championship since 2010. Webb has 14 team championships on the guys side, including nine straight from 2009 to 2017.

Last year, USN took the team title with a 13-point win over Webb led by a 1-2 finish from Timothy Hays and Pelham Bergesen.

Harding has the stronger top runner in Andy Henton, who's run 15:56 this season, but Webb has a tighter front group.

The Spartans have a close 67-second gap between No. 1 runner Kaden Narayani and No. 5 Cooper Wood, which could give them a shot at securing the team title if they have a big day.

Webb School of Knoxville (TN)
1) Kaden Narayani17:02.6
2) Austin Rhea17:07.0
3) Billy Robinson17:56.2
4) Marcus Orton18:03.0
5) Cooper Wood18:09.8
Average Time: 17:39.71 Total Time: 1:28:18.54 1-5 Split: 1:07.18
6) Hank Johnson18:11.2
7) Carson Davis18:13.8

But keep an eye out for the defending champs too.

USN also has a 67-gap between their front and fifth runner. Austin Cason and Nick Sieders come in seeded in all-state positions.

That one should be a solid team battle.