State cross country primer

State cross country primer

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State cross country primer

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THE BASICS

What: State meet for Class A/AA, Class AAA, Division II-A and Division II-AA boys and girls

Where: Iroquois Steeplechase Course, Percy Warner Park

When: 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $10

Schedule: Division II-A girls, 10 a.m.; Division II-A boys, 10:45 a.m.; Division II-AA girls, 11:30 a.m.; Division II-AA boys, 12:15 p.m.; Class AAA girls, 1 p.m.; Class AAA boys, 1:45 p.m.; Class A/AA girls, 2:30 p.m.; Class A/AA boys, 3:15 p.m.

BOYS RUNNERS TO WATCH

Eric Anderson, Jr., MBA: He finished third in Division II-AA last year but missed a lot of training time this year with a hip flexor injury.

Brock Baker, Sr., Oakland: The Oklahoma commitment is favored to win the Class AAA title but could be tested by Hardin Valley’s Aaron Templeton, Morristown West’s Quintin McKinnish or Oakland’s Connor Thompson.

Garrett Bull, Jr., Brentwood Academy: Bull and teammate Brown Bailey could earn top-three finishes in Division II-AA, but Baylor’s Simon Holden is the favorite.

Sam Klockenkemper, Sr., M.L. King: The defending Class A/AA champion will try to hold off last year’s runner-up Nick McCormick of East Hamilton, Greeneville’s Wesley Pectol, Grainger’s Zach Long and Central Magnet’s Andre Hillsman.

Alec Thomas, Jr., Brentwood: The Region 6-AAA champion has the potential for a top-five finish in Class AAA.

BOYS TEAMS TO WATCH

Brentwood Academy: The defending Division II-AA champion will need a strong showing from its top five runners to beat McCallie and MBA.

Brentwood: The defending Class AAA champion likely will be challenged by Hardin Valley, Oakland and Daniel Boone.

University School of Nashville: The defending Division II-A champion may have to settle for second behind Knoxville Webb.

GIRLS RUNNERS TO WATCH

Barbara Lee Ball, Sr., Lipscomb Acad.: The Region 5-A/AA champion is going for her third consecutive Class A/AA championship.

Allison Cheeseman, Jr., Brentwood Acad.: The defending Division II-AA runner-up likely will be pushed by St. Agnes’ Caroline Cook, St. Benedict’s Mayson Morrissett and Harpeth Hall’s Reagan Freeman.

Bailee Dean, So., Cane Ridge: The Region 6-AAA champion, a first-year runner, could be a contender in the Class AAA race.

Nicole Gardner, So., Siegel: The defending Class AAA runner-up will battle defending champion Haley Ward (Mississippi commitment) of McMinn County and Hardin Valley’s Emma Mashurn and Hannah Feiten.

Emily Peters, Jr., St. Cecilia: She is going for her second Division II-A title, but Knoxville Webb’s Madeline Christian and FRA’s Chandler Washburn will be tough to beat.

GIRLS TEAMS TO WATCH

Brentwood: The Region 6-AAA champion and defending Class AAA champion Ravenwood hope for a top-three finish behind Morristown West.

Harpeth Hall: The defending Division II-AA champion will need another strong showing from its top three runners to overtake pre-race favorite Baylor.

University School of Nashville: The defending Division II-A champion will try to repeat, but Knoxville Webb appears to be the favorite.

Noteworthy

Busy weekend: Harpeth Hall’s Reagan Freeman will be on a hectic pace this weekend, starting with a Division II-AA soccer semifinal against Girls Preparatory School at 5:30 p.m. today in Chattanooga. The defending DII-AA cross country champion will return to Nashville after the game so she can run in the state meet at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. If Harpeth Hall beats GPS, she will return to Chattanooga for the soccer final at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Warmer weather: Temperatures are predicted to warm up to the mid-70s on Saturday. “There are going to be some anomalies in the races because of the heat,” MBA coach Roderick Russ said. “Seventy-five degrees in early September would be divine, but it you’ve been running in the 50s like we have your body gets used to that. To have it warm up 20 degrees will be a big adjustment. Some people run better than others in the warmer temperatures.”

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State cross country primer

Chip Cirillo previews the state cross country meet.

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