Tennesseans Notch Five Victories At Clash Of The Classes

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Clash Of The Classes

BOONE, N.C. - Venturing over the mountain for the season-opening race, several Northeast Tennessee squads and individuals came back with standout results on Saturday at the annual Pioneer Clash of the Classes, hosted by Watauga High School. The unique event separates runners based on their grades to see who is the best in each graduating class. Of the eight high school races, Tennesseans won five of them. 

Dobyns-Bennett senior and returning Nike Cross Nationals finalist Luke Mussard (pictured above) - one of the top returners in the state - posted the best time of the day in the senior, turning the 2-mile course in 9:53. 

The Daniel Boone boys and girls squad won the team titles. The girls had a solid overall effort, led by three runner-up finishes from senior Ella Battel (12:54), sophomore Sadie Honeycutt (12:51) and freshman Mahri Layne (12:46). 

Junior Kerigan Lewis also had a solid finish, running 13:13, which was good enough for fifth in the race. 

On the boys side, sophomore Fisher Battel (Above) won his race, covering the course in 10:42. Freshman Adam Kelley also won his race, running 11:14. 

David Crockett junior Maggie Bellamy had a standout track season - running 5:06 at the sectional meet - and used that momentum to start her cross country season off in resounding style. Bellamy won her race in 12:44. Teammate Hannah McLain was sixth in the senior race (13:28). 

Connor Shaw also had a standout race for the Pioneers, finishing third in the sophomore race (11:19). 

For the rebuilding D-B Lady Indians, Sarah Siner started off well, running 13:00 and taking runner-up honors in the junior race. Teammate Gigi Venzon - coming off of a freshman campaign when she broke 60 seconds in the 400 - was fourth in the sophomore race (13:38). Kailee-Ann Conner also had a solid day in the junior race, running 13:44 and taking seventh. 

For the D-B boys, Caleb Hagood was sixth in the senior race, finishing in 11:02. 

Science Hill also had a solid day under new coach Adam McElroy, highlighted by freshman Lorraine Hunter's (Above) win in a time of 12:42. Teammate Ava Nutter was third in one of the most hotly-contested races of the day, running 13:08. 

Senior Owen Johnson was third, running 10:42 while junior Evan Holbrook was eighth (11:17) and junior Nate Powell was ninth (11:28). 

University School's Lucy Smith finished fifth in the freshman race, running 13:50. Harrison Harker was eighth in the sophomore race, covering the course in 11:42. 

Elizabethton's boys had a solid start to the season as Riley Vernon was seventh in the senior race (11:03) and fellow senior Max Garner was ninth (11:05). 

Jefferson County's boys - coming off of their first state appearance last fall - got solid results from the top three juniors in Connor Hodgson (third; 10:43), Gage Steele (fourth; 11:01) and Gavin Slagle (fifth; 11:03).