Week 5 Highlights: Southern Showcase, NC Meets

The Southern Showcase

My feeling with a course that runs as fast as John Hunt Running Park is, is that a lot of runners go into the race with a mindset that "this is my opportunity to break 16" or for girls "this is my opportunity to break 19" and a lot of them go into the race with solely a low number in mind. While watching the boy's race I tweeted "4:36 through first mile" and if you watch the race replay it looks like the entire field came through under 5 minutes. I'd be very interested to see how what the 2nd and 3rd mile splits were for some of those runners. I can't imagine many negative split or ran even throughout. With all that in consideration, the results of Saturday were impressive.

Division I vs. Division II

As stated before during track, I never paid much attention to Division II when coaching and when I took over as editor there was a steep learning curve of all the nuances within the private school landscape. As I pay more attention to it, the more the depth becomes apparent. The table below is a compilation of DI vs. DII runners in the championship division on Saturday.

Division II

Division I

Runner Place Runner  Place
Keegan Smith 2 Landen McNair 3
Luke Thompson 10 Will Douglas 5
Connor Henson 12 Ryan Lovelace 15
Trace Alexander 21 Hays Adams 18
Ciro Albamont 26 Miles Ramer 20
Score 71 Score 61

Division I takes the win by just 10 points which is closer than I thought it would've been had I been asked to predict such scenario a year ago. I'm going to elaborate more on individual rankings later this week but that was the one observation I wanted to point out for now.

Keegan Smith's 14:53 not only ranks him TN #1 but it is the fastest freshman time ever run in the MileSplit database.

Brentwood Girls

Every week that I have to process results for Brentwood I just kind of shake my head in disbelief but then I have to remind myself, this is the talent level that has been in the school for the past four years. Even now, not every runner that can run sub-19 who is enrolled at Brentwood High School is running for the girls' cross country program. In 2019, there were three of that caliber opting to compete exclusively on the club circuit and the team still managed to finish 2nd at state. Prior to the season, I didn't see them as the favorite. Currently, it's hard not to for this season and a few more to come. The Bruins put four runners in the top 15 led by Sophomore Peyton Strauss

Jump to 53:30 to see a pack of Brentwood Blue cross the finish line all within two second of each other. 

Other Notes:

Abby Faith Cheeseman won the girl's championship division race with a time of 17:19 which isn't even a PR. Honestly, in my preview for the meet I initially drafted, "the question shouldn't be whether or not she'll win, it's by how much?" but changed the article as not to add more pressure to the freshman in only her second 5k of the season. The win wasn't without challenge however as Reagan Riley did take the lead with around 1k to go before Cheeseman pulled away.

Harpeth Hall (5th) was the 2nd highest placing girls team behind Brentwood. Bella Guillamondegui narrowly missed breaking the eighteen-minute mark but her 18:00.53 was good enough for 5th overall. Behind her, Honey Bear teammates paced each other in pairs as Kate Wojciehowski and Annamaria Bacchetta (this team really doesn't give me a break with the spelling and pronounciations) came through in 19:30 and Elizbeth John and Clara Scott Harden came through in 20:28. They have the advantage of a low scorer but GPS has a smaller spread. Should be a great competition in a month and a half.  

Houston High School Boy's placed 3rd overall. This is the second time this season Houston was the highest placing Tennessee team in a large field competition (at Twilight they placed first). Their next race on the calendar will be Frank Horton where we'll be reporting from next weekend.