2021 TSSAA State XC Meet Recap: Division I Class AA/A Girls

Division I Class AA/A Girls

The Race Highlights

The Individual Race

What isn't captured in the race highlight is what transpired prior to the race. It ended up being delayed by 15-20 minutes due to someone parking on the course at the lake loop. Meet management was able to keep such events from occurring for most of the day but when the largest classification of athletes arrived, so did their friend and family overlapping with lingering competitors from the division before, the capacity constraints of Sanders Ferry became apparent.

Based on this picture, they improvised rather than the driver having the presence of mind to realize the car and license plate numbers being called out over the loudspeakers multiple times were indeed for them and their lack of awareness. Nevertheless, the race ensued and went as close to the projections as any race had over the course of the championship. Central Magnet's Samantha Ouellette won ultimately unchallenged with her teammate Emma Kate Hamby coming in second and Anderson County's Kaitlyn Fisher finishing third. The worst any runner seeded in the top ten finished was 15th.

The two Tiger teammates will soon become competitors as since this interview, Hamby has signed with the University of Tennessee where she and Ouellette will meet multiple times on the course every fall at SEC and Regional Championships.

Returning Runners

The first two finishers were the only seniors in the top ten. Places 3rd through 10th will all be returning next year headlined by Anderson County's Kaitlyn Fisher. I was surprised to see Fisher's name pop up in Eastbay South results as I thought she would've transitioned to basketball by now however she decided to get in one final race in. As I've covered this division year I've noticed many cross-sport athletes like Fisher who aren't exclusively runners as many in the larger divisions are. Ella Vanvranken and Jacie Begley in this division stand out as others who also play basketball in the winter. While part of me thinks "why take the injury risk?" the other sees the value in staying competitive year round. After all, BYU's Whittni Ortan Morgan played basketball, volleyball, and cheer throughout her career before committing to the Cougars. Should be fun to see who from this returning cluster can emerge next season.