RECAP: Cheeseman, Smith Qualify for Eastbay Nationals

Eastbay South

Girls Championship Race Highlight

Abby Faith Cheeseman

It's hard to believe that just 6 months ago Abby Faith lost a distance race to someone in state. In her defense, the mile likely isn't her forte and Allison Newman narrowly edged her in the 1600m in Rockvale in May. Now she just looks unbeatable. At no point this season has she run over 17:30 while at no point this season did any other Tennessee girl run under that mark. On Saturday, she went out with the lead pack and improved her position before the finish line. At the first uphill, at the 1:20 mark in the video above, you can see her go up the hill in 5th, fall back to 6th or 7th at the next camera position, but eventually cross in a group of runners in 4th with a time of 17:13.97 which is only .17 off her best mark this season. 

This race included, Cheeseman has only lost to four total runners during the 2021 Cross Country season. 

Best of the Rest

Here's a quick observation I noted when I looked at the Top 5:

Abby Faith Cheeseman17:13DII Class A State Champion
Bella Guillamondegui17:51DII Class AA State Champion
Kyra Hayes18:07DI Class AAA State Champion
Madeline Wheatcroft18:16Home School Nationals Champion
Samantha Ouellette18:27DI Class AA/A State Champion

Every girl in that list won a championship. In watching the race video you can see Bella, Kyra, and Madeline go out with the top twenty grouping and of the trio Guillamondegui held on to her position the best. Her 17:51 is a one second improvement on PR run at Jesse Owens. 

These next five runners rounded out the Top 10 for Tennessee: 

Andie-Marie JonesMaryville18:28
Emma Kate HambyCentral Magnet18:47
Autumn HeadrickDobyns Bennett18:59
Leah BoydCSTHEA19:00
Kaitlyn FisherAnderson County19:05

With Eastbay being some of these runners TENTH 5k of the season, I don't know how many of these runners will try to double back and run at RunningLane next weekend but if the do good luck and if they don't congratulations on your seasons.