Anderson County High School’s boys cross country team posted a dominant performance at the Region 1-A/AA Cross Country Championships last week.
The Mavericks won the overall team championship in impressive fashion as four of their athletes posted Top 10 finishes.
Anderson County had 41 points and finished 36 points ahead of second-place Alcoa, which scored 77 points. Knoxville’s L&N STEM Academy was third (94).
ACHS’s Vance Laster took second in the individual standings as he completed the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 3.55 seconds, and led the way for the Mavericks, who had each of their entrants finish the course at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville in under 20 minutes on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
“On the boys’ side, we had four guys finish in the Top 10, and Vance finished second,” Anderson County Coach Derek Wallace said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had anybody in our school finish that high in the regionals.
“The boys finished eighth in the state last year, and they came back and went to work. They’ve done everything I’ve asked of them since we had our first practice on May 31.”
ACHS’s Cameron Hardy came in fifth with a time of 17:25.29). Ben Clotfelter (17:43.03) claimed eighth place. John Cutler was 10th as he crossed the finish line in 17:55.45. Darren Anderson came in 16th (19:01.00). Toby Day was 20th (19:18.56) and Ethan Bolton finished 23rd with a time of 19:47.00.
The Mavericks will compete at the 2023 TSSAA state championships Friday at Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville.
Wallace said he has high hopes for his young but deep and talented boys team.
“I felt like I could’ve taken any of my Top 10 guys and won the region,” he said. “I had some hard decisions to make, to leave some of the kids who had worked very hard. That’s a problem that every coach dreams of having.
“I expect the boys to finish anywhere from eighth to second at the state.”
The Lady Mavericks, meanwhile, have been plagued by injuries all season. But they also clinched a berth in the state championships as they finished second behind the Lady Tornadoes.
“Nobody’s going to beat Alcoa this year,” Wallace said. “My girls were as healthy as they’ve been all season. Everybody besides Ava (Moody, who won last week’s regional meet) has had some kind of injury this year.”
Moody won the meet with a time of 19:13.73. Kaitlyn Fisher was seventh (21:23.19). Marley Caldwell claimed 17th (23:58.14). Emily Boring was 18th (24:01.04). Sydney Day (24:21.50) was 21st. Morgan Lindsay was 29th with a time of 25:56.59 and Emma Johnson took 49th (32:38.43).