The 47th annual A.F. Bridges Cross Country Invitational featured a couple of familiar faces at the front of the pack on Saturday.
Both winners — Ensworth’s Emma Sloan and Central Magnet’s Andre Hillsman — won the silver division races at last week’s Junior Ward Tennessee Classic.
Both meets were held at the steeplechase course at Percy Warner Park. Hillsman believes the experience gained from the previous race helped prepare for future success at the site of the state meet on Nov. 3.
“It’s rough running on this course the first time,” Hillsman said. “But once you do it the second or third time, you get used to it and you can adapt to it a little bit better.”
Hillsman won in 16:48.53, beating his time from last week by nearly eight seconds.
“I thought I ran a great race today,” Hillsman said. “The competition was really rough. They pushed me a lot in the last mile and I’m glad they stuck around to give me a good run.”
Rossview’s Kyle Harmon came in second, 2.54 seconds behind. Noah Freeman (17:13.74) of Arlington was third.
Sloan finished in 20:19.59 for the second win in the sophomore’s high school career. Sloan ran a 20:04.55 last week.
“It was pretty much the same competition as the last race,” Sloan said. “I feel like I’m getting better this year. Last year was still (about) building up, so I think I’ll build up to state this year and I’m looking forward to that.”
Cordova junior Abigail Topham (20:35.17) was second, followed by last week’s silver division runner-up, Central Magnet sophomore Claudia Smith (20:46.37).
Centennial took the girls team championship with 62 points. Ensworth (88) was second and Meade County (Ky.) was third with 98 points.
“This is our first win in a long time,” Centennial coach Suzanne Singleton said. “The girls are really excited. This is our first trophy to put for varsity girls into the trophy case at school.”
Centennial placed four girls in the top 21, led by top 10 finishes from freshmen Brady Bove (sixth) and Amelia Thiesing (10th).
“They’re doing a great job running together as a pack,” Singleton said. “They’re practicing as a team and running as a team. They’re doing a great job of pushing each other.”
Meade County (74) won the boys team championship, followed by Central Magnet (101) and Cookeville (139).
A.F. Bridges Cross Country Invitational
Girls individual: Sloan, Ensworth, 20:19.59; Topham, Cordova, 20:35.17; Smith, Central Magnet, 20:46.37; Loh, Ensworth, 20:51.25; Herrera, Hillsboro, 20:58.54; Bove, Centennial, 21:08.32; Kilian, Creek Wood, 21:24.78; Giles, South Doyle, 21:33.30; Simpson, Pope John Paul II, 21:48.93; Thiesing, Centennial, 21:51.66.
Girls team: Centennial 62, Ensworth 88, Meade Co. (Ky.) 98, Rossview 107, Cookeville 109, Central Magnet 127, Bob Jones 129, DCA 176.
Boys individual: Hillsman, Central Magnet, 16:48.53; Harmon, Rossview, 16:51.07; Freeman, Arlington, 17:13.74; Strickland, Meade Co. (Ky.), 17:21.29; O’Toole, Page, 17:28.68; Huber, Greenbrier, 17:34.66; Morel, Sovereign Grace, 17:40.33; Delk, Central Magnet, 17:40.88; Britt, Hillsboro, 17:40.94; Howard, Meade Co. (Ky.), 17:43.21.
Boys team: Meade Co. (Ky.) 74, Central Magnet 101, Cookeville 139, Arlington 139, Knoxville Webb 147, Centennial 157, Sovereign Grace 170, Greenbrier 225, Logan Co. (Ky.) 255, Rossview 273.