Individual Battles Created the Team Finish!
At 4:30 A.M. on a Saturday morning, the Stone Memorial High School runners report to school, climb on a bus, and wait for a race. It is not the race of life, but it is a race that shows dedication and determination. Training in heat reaching 102 from June until freezing temperatures in November is a sport that requires a mindset like no other.
The Panther teams lined up against forty teams at the Cherokee Classic in Knoxville on September 17. Top times were met; rankings were achieved, but the individual battles on the course as close as one-hundredth of a second were the true wins for the day. Two runners reached individual medal status. Xavier finished 10th overall with 255 runners in a time of 16:30.36. Findley led his team to a fifth place finish in the large schools division. Mikey VanWinkle ran a close second with 17:02 while Payt Bussey finished in 17:28. Ben Bowman and Preston Buck rounded out the top five scoring runners with times of 17:56 and 17:57.
Senior Hailey Coudriet finished 20th overall in a time of 19:51.23. There were 202 runners in her race. Susan Nelson ran 22:53; Rebekah Noland 23:01; Jacey Wiley 24:26 and Ashley Hale with 24:27. Girls Varsity finished 13th of 25 teams.
In the Junior Varsity results, SMHS fielded a team in the boys division. Zach Stambaugh led with a time of 18:34, followed by Matthew Noland with 18:54. Anthony Algeria came in at 19:01 with Carter Wiley at 19:48 and Seth Sherrill at 20:04. SMHS finished the race in 4th place of 16 teams.
Other runners for Stone included Jackson Hughes, Jacob Sweeten, Allie Hale, Erin Rassell, Sienna Howe and Whitney Miller, and Jacob and Jordan Howe. Many of these runners set personal best race times.
Stone Memorial Cross Country will race September 27th at Baylor in Chattanooga.