McCallie Beats Brentwood Academy By A Point In Cross Country

Collins Hill Nips Maryville By A Point In Girls Race

Saturday, September 28, 2013 - by John Hunt

They always say that in the sport of cross country, a team is only as good as its fifth runner.

Team scoring is based on places for the first five runners and that certainly came into play Saturday morning at  Moccasin Bend for the annual McCallie Cross Country Invitational.

Collins Hill earned the team title for the girls while McCallie was crowned the winner among the guys and both margins of victory was a scant one point.

Collins Hill had three runners in the top 10 to finish with 60 points while the Maryville Lady Rebels were second with 61 points, despite having the second and third finishers.

McCallie nipped Brentwood Academy by a 52-53 score as the Blue Tornado won for the second year in a row.

The individual races were pretty close as well, at least for the guys.  Luckily for all the competitors in all the races, temperatures were cool, the humidity was low and it was basically a perfect day for a cross country race.

Emma Sloan, a junior running as an individual from Ensworth, put the hammer down in the second and third miles to win the 5K race in 18 minutes, 24 seconds while Maryville's Avery Franklin was a distant second in 19 minutes flat after leading the pack at the first mile.

Delaney Markham, Franklin's teammate, was third in 19:17 while Reagan Freeman of Harpeth Hall and Peighton Meske of Knoxville Webb were fourth and fifth with times of 19:21 and 19:25, respectively.

While Sloan was all alone when she crossed the finish line, that wasn't the case among the guys as MBA's Eric Anderson had an all-out sprint to the line with McCallie's Derek Barnes before winning with a time of 15 minutes, 44 seconds.

Barnes was two seconds back while Brentwood Academy brothers Garrett Bull and Andrew Bull were third and fourth with times of 15:55 and 15:57, respectively.

Daniel Ellis of Collins Hill was several steps back in 16:04 to round out the top five.

Maryville's Franklin had a slight lead when the girls passed the first mile with Sloan not a factor at that point.

By the time the runners reappeared just past the two-mile mark, the Ensworth junior was all by herself and she cruised to the 36-second victory. It was her second win in a row as she was victorious in the Gold division of the Tennessee Classic at Nashville's Percy Warner Park last Saturday in 19:59.

"I went out hoping to have a fast time, but I just tried to maintain a steady pace while getting faster with each mile," Sloan said after catching her breath and getting a drink of water.

"I think I was tenth at the first mile, but I wanted to stay focused throughout the race.  I'm not a big fan of hills, so this was a really nice course for me.  It was a personal record by more than a minute,so I feel good about that.  I never turned to look back, but there were a few times when I wanted to," the slender 16-year-old concluded with a smile.

Franklin recorded her personal best of 18:41 last November at the FootLocker Regional in Charlotte.  She wasn't expecting to run that fast on Saturday.

"I may have gone out a little too hard, but I was hoping to break 19 minutes today," the petite Maryville senior after posting an official time of 19:00.37.

"I went for it and it was my fastest time this year.  Emma passed me right before we got to the two-mile mark.  I tried to stay with her, but I just couldn't," Franklin said in a quiet tone.

MBA's Anderson was listed as the fastest guy in the race with a best of 15:47 coming in.  The 18-year-old senior improved that by some three seconds, but there's a really good chance that he had to work a whole lot harder this time.

"It was a blur," Anderson said when asked to comment on his race.

"Somehow I found another gear at the finish.  I probably shouldn't have, but I turned around to look as we came around the last turn.  I could hear the footsteps at the end, but this is my fastest time by three seconds and I couldn't be any more excited," he added.

McCallie's Barnes has made a name for himself as one who normally finishes with a strong kick.  He had a strong finish on Saturday, but Anderson was just a little to strong for the Blue Tornado senior.

"I'm wiped out as the kick at the end killed me," Barnes said while watching other runners cross the finish line.

"I'm fairly happy, but Eric had another gear.  I got up there right next to him with about 30 meters to go and still thought I could pass him, but he just wouldn't back down.  I gave it all I had and I can't be disappointed with a personal record," he continued, noting that his previous best of 15:53 came two weeks ago.

McCallie coach Mike Wood knew long before the first race started that he had organized a talented field with lots of good teams and many lightning-fast individuals.

"It should be an interesting team score," he commented before finding out what the final team scores were.

"Eric Anderson had the best time before today and he ran a great race, but I'm really pleased with Derek Barnes.  I'll have to look at the results before I comment on the rest of the team, but I still feel like we can get better and I'm hoping that we can take it to another level in a couple of weeks when we go to a big race in Tallahassee," Wood suggested.

While Barnes was second for McCallie, teammates Ramsay Ritchie and Dylan Carmack were eighth and tenth, respectively, with times of 16:20 and 16:31. 

Matthew Jones was 14th in 16:39 while Will Moore finished 18th in 16:50 to complete McCallie's scoring.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Lookouts Keep Rolling With 3-1 Win Over M-Braves Saturday

Edgar Corcino and the Lookouts pitching staff combined to send Chattanooga fans home happy on Fan Appreciation Night with a 3-1 win over the Mississippi Braves.  Corcino tripled in two runs to start the scoring in home half of the fourth Saturday. Ryan Walker and Travis Harrison came home to score on the big hit and gave the Lookouts a lead they would hold the rest of the ... (click for more)

Dalton State Women's Soccer Defeats Johnson & Wales University 4-2

The Dalton State women’s soccer team did it again. The Lady Roadrunners found themselves down by 2-0 at halftime against Johnson & Wales University (Fl.) “After making some adjustments during the break, I could tell the girls were fired up and hungry and I had a great feeling we would win the game,” said DS Coach Kerem Daser. “I guess you can call my ladies the comeback ... (click for more)

Saw Mill Fire In Lookout Valley Causes $185,000 In Damages

A saw mill fire in Lookout Valley on Sunday morning caused $185,000 in damage. At approximately 7:45 a.m. , calls began coming in to Hamilton County 911 about a fire in a saw mill located at 3510 Pan Gap Circle in Lookout Valley. Smoke could be seen from downtown Chattanooga when firefighters from Station One on Main Street began to respond.   ... (click for more)

Michael Wilson Back In Bradley County; Due In Court On Monday

Michael Wilson is back in Bradley County, and was escorted into the Correctional Facility around 8:15 p.m. Wilson’s first appearance in court will be on Monday, at 9 a.m. in the Bradley County General Sessions Courtroom at the Judicial Complex at 2290 Blythe Ave. Wilson was arrested last week, after e ndangered Bradley County child Skyla Wilson was found safe in Colorado ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response (3)

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Girls - ‘I Can And I Will’

Every night after the Rodriguez girls went to sleep not that long ago in a grim, rat-infested basement apartment on Chicago’s South Side, their father – a boxing referee who came to America from Puerto Rico -- would kneel beside the girls’ bed and whisper in each child’s ear. Their parents made them sleep hot-dog style, tightly wrapped in the same sheet and pressed together to protect ... (click for more)