MBA Advances To Nationals, Others Pending At-Large Bids

Wallace Boys Alumni

When we posted the Virtual Meet from state where we combined all the runners into one race and scored all the teams as if they were one division, Farragut would come out on top with a point total of 100 just slightly ahead of McCallie at 104. Montgomery Bell would sit in third at 119 followed by Brentwood and Christian Brothers as the only others under 200. In a small meet setting, 20 points is a decent margin. A single runner could race 30 seconds faster or slower and only gain or lose 2-3 points for their team. In a field of 260 that combines the best teams from the Southeast, 30 seconds can swing scores up or down significantly and you're only going to be as successful as your 4th and 5th runners which is ultimately how MBA, who lost to McCallie twice this year and never raced Farragut but on paper, was able to tip the scales in their favor in Cary, North Carolina on Sunday. 

Belen Jesuit out of Florida, who placed runner up a year ago to Farragut, would win comfortably this year putting five runners ahead of everyone else's fourth. There was no point in the live results in which their placement was in doubt. Farrgut, McCallie and MBA on the other hand, found themselves in a crowded field clamoring for the final automatic bid. At the 2K mark Farrgut was in 3rd, McCallie 4th and MBA 7th. At 3200, McCallie had moved in to 2nd with Farrgut 3rd and MBA 6th. It wasn't until the finish that the "Wallace Boys Alumni," the moniker MBA chose to run under, would move into second where they would score 211 points edging out Vestavia Hills from Alabama by 30. McCallie would fall to 5th and Farragut 6th over the final mile.  

Samuel Trumble and Jack Wallace, who traded crossing first for the Big Red all season, finished within a second of each other with Trumble running 15:40 and Wallace at 15:41. The remaining scoring runners for MBA would finish within 40 seconds, the smallest spread of any team in the top six. Freshmen JP Newman and Gabe Guillamondegui would be the next in at 15:53 and 15:59 followed by Mitchell Chaffin at 16:20. This was the first time this season MBA had four runners under sixteen minutes in the same race. Though the team was the last to get their first runner across the finish line, here's a little breakdown ranking each scoring runner against the scoring runner from the other teams who placed second through sixth.







MBA (TN)52212
Vestavia Hills (AL)31343
Trinity (KY)44521
McCallie (TN)25434
Farragut (TN)13155

And as mentioned above, even though Newman was only 7 seconds faster than Vestavia's 3rd, he scored 13 places higher. Guillamondegui was only 20 seconds faster than their fourth but scored 27 places higher. That 40 points was enough to push them into qualifying position. 

Spartans Leave On Deck

Last year, the Webb School of Knoxville left knowing they would have a place on the starting line in Portland but this year, they're going to need to wait until next Sunday to know for sure. The Spartans placed third in Cary behind Tatnall out of Delaware and Assumption out of Kentucky. Even though Anna Graves was not able to bounce back as she had hoped, the team put five runners in the Team Top 60 scoring 149 points. Carolina Areheart was the top overall Tennessee girls finisher on the day breaking 18:00 for the first time this season followed by Jazzlyn Garmer, Kristina Weaver, Calysta Garmer, and Lauren Davis. Four teams are selected as At-Large from from the various regional meets. 

Brentwood Girls placed 6th on Sunday in their first trip to Cary since the Regional meet series started again. Between Webb and Brentwood, only Lauren Davis will graduate before next season. 

Also awaiting an At-Large call is Webb's Colin Eckerman who finished 6th overall in Championship boys race. He, Keegan Smith, and Miles Ramer finished in succession positioning all for a potential trip to Portland but I imagine most will make the trip to McAlpine the weekend to race again at FootLocker.