2022 TSSAA State XC Meet Recap: Division II Class AA Girls

Division II Class AA Girls

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When we wrote about this classification in the recap of last year's state championship we pointed to the fact that 34 of the top 35 finishers were returning in 2021. From that statement, the expectation would be that the results would turn out the same and I guess I'm surprised and not surprised that they did. The top four teams from last year remained the top four teams this year and six of the top ten from last year placed in the top ten this year.

While there was some deviation with the order of how certain teams and runners finished, there was no change with who finished first in either category. Bella Guillamondegui of Harpeth Hall claimed her second individual championship crossing the finish line in 17:54. It was 28 seconds faster than her winning time last season. While last year she waited until the second lake loop to break away from the pack of four, this year she was already fifty meters ahead by the time she emerged from the tree line towards the lake the second time. It was the fourth time this season she ran under the eighteen minute mark. 

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The runners finishing immediately behind Bella experienced even bigger year over year improvement. Webb's Anna Graves finished 9th last year with a 19:42 and started aggressively this race staying in contact with Guillamondegui for the first loop. She was able to maintain that momentum which carried her to an 18:49 and runner up finish. Hutchison's Meriel Rowland was the only other runner under 19:00 as she finished 3rd in 18:58. Last year she finished 15th and did not break 20. Sixteen of the eighteen top finishers from this season will return in 2023. 

Three of those top eighteen runners returning belong to Harpeth Hall who as a team won the championship for the second season in a row on Thursday. On top of the improvement we saw from Bella, the year over year improvement of her teammates Annamaria Bacchetta and Lily Bowen really anchored the scoring for the Honey Bears. Bacchetta improved her place from 9th to 5th dropping 15 seconds year over year with Bowen improving from 21st to 7th dropping 55 seconds from last November. The backend was fortified by two freshmen Lula Lowrance and Suki Junge who finished 14th and 24th respectively. 

As a team, the average for the Harpeth Hall improved from 19:52 to 19:28 which likely accounts for their point total improvement over second place Webb School of Knoxville. After a mere 4 point win in 2021 the Honey Bears won this year by 47. Harpeth Hall will return six of seven losing only Bella to graduation while Webb will graduate zero runners and add in a couple who were ineligible this season. It should be a great competition yet again. 

Congratulations to Harpeth Hall, Coach Jervis, and Bella Guillamondegui on their victories.