Janelle Wigal Wins Third Straight Region Cross Country Title

CSAS Senior Leads Team Back To State Meet Next Weekend In Nashville

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - by John Hunt

Janelle Wigal won her third straight region cross country title on Tuesday morning at Woodland Park, but she may have had to work a little bit harder this year than in the past two.

Wigal crossed the finish line in the 3.1-mile race in 20 minutes, 59 seconds to lead her CSAS Lady Patriots to a second-place finish in the Region 3-A/AA event and qualifying for the state meet, which will be held at Nashville's Percy Warner Park on Nov. 2.

Wigal's win was eight seconds faster than runner-up Danielle March of Sequoyah.

  Loudon's Bre Snow was third while Polk County's Shelby Moyers and Red Bank's Lynn Fults completed the top five.

Loudon's Mark Rupinski was the winner among the boys as he crossed the line in 17 minutes, 25 seconds, finishing 26 seconds ahead of runner-up Will Vineyard of Sweetwater.

Daniel Mihaescu of Collegedale Academy, Red Bank's Austin Wingo and Boyd-Buchanan's Hank Warren completed the top five.

Polk County won the girls race with 48 points while CSAS was second with 55 and Sequoyah third with 59.  Sweetwater was first among the boys with 42 points while Red Bank and CSAS followed with 67 and 73, points, respectively.

The top three teams and individuals in the top 10 not on one of the top three teams qualify for the state meet.

Wigal played chase for most of her race, but when the chips were on the line and the possibility of a third-straight region title, she put the hammer down.

As the field made its way up the biggest hill for the second time, Wigal made her move and March couldn't keep the pace.

"I just wanted to go out with a bang," the 17-year-old Wigal said while chatting with March after the race ended.

"I didn't know the course very well, but that was my best time ever.  My goal was to win today and I'm hoping that my team qualified for the state again as well.

"I told myself that I didn't want to lose this race today, but she led for the entire race.  I caught her at the top of the hill and I think I started my kick too soon, but I'm definitely tired right now," Wigal said.

March is a 16-year-old junior who had her second-best time of the season.  She was caught totally by surprise when Wigal came whizzing by in the final mile.

"I took the lead for the first time with about a mile left, but I was surprised when she caught up with me.  She snuck up on me on the downhill.  I tried to keep up, but she was just faster than I was," March nodded.

Loudon's Rupinski got into a smooth rhythm early and maintained it the entire way, pulling away from Sweetwater's Vineyard and Collegedale's Daniel Mihaescu in the second half of the race.

"I was really pushing the pace through the woods as I thought I had somebody on my heels, but I guess I was just hearing my own footsteps," Rupinski said afterward.

"I've had a cold for the last week or so and haven't done much running, but this is the first race I've every won.  This will be my fourth year to run at the state meet," he added.

Vineyard was happy with his best time ever as he led his Wildcat teammates to a first-place finish.

"I ran my best time ever today, but I had good support from my coaches and my teammates.  I passed three runners on the way down that hill and I took over second place in the final mile.  I'm just thankful that God gave me the strength to run well today," Vineyard added.

Rupinski, Justin Schoetzel of Polk County and Boyd-Buchanan's Rainer Zarzour all qualified for the state as individuals while Sweetwater's Kayla Conner and Boyd-Buchanan's Jada Hale were individual qualifiers among the girls.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)



Randy Smith: How The Coaching Carousel Turns

Hiring college football coaches is not an exact science. (The recent Tennessee hiring fiasco is a perfect example) Of the 14 head coaches in the SEC this season, only three have been at their current schools for five years or more. Those three are, Nick Saban at Alabama for ten years, Gus Malzahn at Auburn for five years and Mark Stoops at Kentucky for five. While it appears there ... (click for more)

UTC Chattanooga Volleyball Earns AVCA Team Award For Academic Excellence

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team was awarded the AVCA Team Award for Academic Excellence, the AVCA announced on Monday.   The Mocs posted a team GPA of 3.602 in the fall semester and followed that up with 3.515 in the spring. In the fall 13 student-athletes earned a spot on the Chattanooga Dean's List with 12 hitting the mark in the spring. ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Senator Watson And Rep. Hazlewood Ask TDOT To Move Swiftly On Highway 127 Road Project Up Signal Mountain

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road. ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response (2)

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)