NASHVILLE — Jordan Shirley’s goal was a simple one Saturday afternoon during the TSSAA Class A/AA boys cross country championships.
The Central Magnet sophomore wanted to finish somewhere on the medal stand Saturday to earn all-state status.
But then Shirley got greedy.
Shirley went from 12th to seventh over the final mile, finishing in 17:03.80. The top 15 finishers earn TSSAA all-state status.
“I really like hills; that’s what I’ve trained for,” Shirley said. “That’s what the team has trained for. About the (final mile), I thought, ‘This is the last race for some of my teammates.’ I couldn’t just get 12th for them. I needed to do the best for my team.”
Shirley was Rutherford County’s top Class A/AA boys finisher. He helped lead the Tigers to an eighth-place finish in the boys team standings. Knoxville Catholic won with 55 points. Central had 232 points.
Shirley’s time was nearly a minute faster than the 2014 meet when he finished 32nd (18:01.67).
Teammates Ben Waldecker was 52nd (18:17.46), and Luke Adams was 58th (18:21.77).
Eagleville sophomore Dawson Reed placed 38th (17:59.84) in his first state meet and was the area’s second-fastest Class A/AA boys runner.
Central Magnet’s girls, led by sophomore Taylor Cuneo’s second consecutive Class A/AA state championship, finished third with 110 points. Signal Mountain won with 46 points for its third straight Class A/AA girls championship.
Christian Academy of Knoxville was third with 59 points, and Knoxville Catholic was fourth with 171 points. The top four teams finished in the same order a year ago.
Cuneo won in 18:21.24 to beat CAK’s Rebecca Story (18:45.10) for the second straight year.
Central’s Caroline Smith and Morgan Ouellette were 24th (21:24.19) and 25th (21:26.74), respectively.
Cannon County’s girls finished 12th with 338 points. Hannah Whited, who was part of Central Magnet’s state championship 4×800 relay team last year as part of a TSSAA co-op program, finished 26th (21:27.64) to pace the Lionettes.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.