Division I Class AAA Boys
The Highlight Video
The Individual Race
Championship contenders missing the state meet for injury is not an uncommon occurrence. Just last year as teams started showing up to Sanders Ferry for Division II Class A, I saw SGIS file off the bus to see Allison Newman, the defending state champion, step out in hot pink leggings and a walking boot. The much anticipated showdown between Cheeseman and Newman would have to wait until track. The same can be said about what we were expecting to see transpire for the Division I Class AAA Boys race on November 4th. This was going to be the first and only time Landen McNair and Conner Wingfield would step foot on the same course inside state lines this season. But as the meet approached and Wingfield started showing "Did Not Starts" in their conference and region races it became more apparent he was not sitting for rest. I knew on October 22nd this was the case and as the meet approached I kept getting messages saying "did you hear this?" At the athlete's request, and any others who in the future would ask I not share similar information, I played dumb when asked about the situation but by the time the boys were lining up it was common knowledge.
His absence made it possible for others to get into the mix and I imagine for Mcnair added even more pressure to bury a disappointing race from the season before at Sanders Ferry and as the tweet above illustrates he decided to run from the front. A handful were able to hang on for about half the race but slowly the lead pack dwindled down to Mcnair, Kaden Keller, and Miles Ramer. At the incline coming out of the second lake loop after the two mile mark you can see where Ramer takes the lead. Skip to 11:00 in the video.
Ramer only lengthened the lead from there on his way to a 19 second PR of 15:10 and a 9 second victory over McNair and 23 seconds ahead of Keller.
Almost one year ago to the day, Ramer ran 17:51 at the State Championship and finished 109th. Even at Southern Showcase he finished 8th among Tennessee runners including McNair, Adams, and Lovelace who were all in his division. To say this was unexpected is an understatement. When I chose him for the interview for the preview I thought to myself, "Ok well here's a runner that has run pretty good this season, just had a win at Midstate, he probably won't place first or second at state so I probably won't have a chance to talk to him then but he probably needs some recognition none the less." Then he won and as he said in his pre-meet interview "as long as I race smart I'll be happy." Needless to say, I think he executed whatever his race plan was flawlessly. His 15:09 was the fastest of any runner of any classification throughout the entire championship.