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)


Jason Hill Named Notre Dame Head Girl's Basketball Coach

Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga has named Jason Hill as the new women’s basketball coach.  “Jason is an outstanding coach who is highly respected and will continue to build on the success that Notre Dame High School has established in women’s basketball,” said Director of Athletics Matt Pobieglo.  “He is an excellent teacher of the game and a proven leader ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestlers are 11th in Nation in GPA

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team finished in the company of the nation’s elite when it comes to academics for the 2014-15 season.  The Mocs were No. 11 among all NCAA Division I programs with a 3.201 team grade-point-average, according to a recent release from the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The NWCA calculates team grade-point ... (click for more)

Cleveland Councilman Banks Critical Of City Manager Casteel, But Several Council Members Come To Her Defense

Cleveland City Councilman Richard Banks on Tuesday afternoon was critical of City Manager Janice Casteel, but several other council members came to her defense.   The council, at the end of the discussion, voted to establish an evaluation process for city employees.   Ben Moore, a retired pharmacist and life-long resident of Cleveland told the council ... (click for more)

City Council Looking Into Need For City Court

City Council Chair Carol Berz on Tuesday brought up the issue of whether, under its charter, the city is required to have a City Court. She also asked Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett to look into the issue of whether the city is required to have two divisions of City Court. Attorney Noblett said he also will look into the ramifications of the Municipal Court Reform Act ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two More Kick Out UAW

Woody Hayes, the great Ohio State football coach, used to teach his players to “paralyze resistance with persistence” but, my word, the likable theory has taken quite a beating in the past two years at the NTN-Bower ball-bearing plant in Hamilton, Ala. The workers there voted to decertify from the United Auto Workers union two years ago but getting the UAW out the door has turned ... (click for more)