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Macon County Wrap-Up - New Girl's Leader


The boys team joins Harley in prayer before her race. 
As we prepare for the state qualifier on 10/25, we stopped in at Macon County for a practice run through.  Today's meet is the same location as the qualifier that will be in 19 days. We were pleasantly surprised with a couple breakthroughs and some more personal records.

The photo doesn't do this finish line hill justice. That finish line was a beast! 

In the coaches rumor mill around the water cooler, the commonly shared opinion is that Macon County is a +0:35 course, meaning that overall times are generally 35 seconds slower here than on normal courses. There are multiple factors contributing to slower times, such as the amount of hills, a slightly longer distance measured at 3.13 miles on GPS, and higher thicker grass increasing friction with each of the runner's 3000ish steps. 

BIG STORY - In spite of the challenges, the weather was perfect for our biggest story of the meet.  Freshman Harley Johnston, who alone represented White County girls cross country in this meet, posted a new PR, had her first sub-30 minute finish, and became the fastest girls' runner for White County in the 2022 season. Her finish of 29:57 was an improvement of 1:22 over her previous PR!  Her new time also puts her 0:58 ahead of any active White County female runner. Congratulations Harley!  

Check out the high open hands on Harley's final kick! Her sprint form is great!

We believe Harley isn't finished improving yet and can achieve even more by adjusting her first mile strategy. That first mile was a bit too hot of a start which leads to slower mile 2 & 3 splits. By adjusting her first mile to 30 seconds slower, we believe she can improve her overall time by up to 1 minute. Her split times for this course were: 

  1. 8:30
  2. 10:42 (+2:12)
  3. 10:51 (+0:09)
  4. Final 0.1 mile kick of 0:44 seconds
BOYS HIGHLIGHTS - Both of our top two male runners and our #7 pusher also posted new PR's on this challenging course. Gabriel was awarded his fourth race medal of the season finishing in 11th place overall with another sub-19 finish at 18:53. While only four seconds faster than his Cookeville race two weeks ago, he keeps inching his way closer to a potential state championship birth. Gabriel's splits had a difference of only 26 seconds with a negative split in the third mile, showing the discipline and strategy we want to see. #2 Kayden Kimmons improved by a solid 13 seconds for another PR. He passed the 3rd mile marker at 19:46, proving that he can obtain a final below 20:00 with just a bit more discipline and training. After Atkins, Durfee, and Randolph put in solid placement times, our #7 Pusher, Blake Cravens, (who ran as our #6 today) posted a new PR by 2:04, which is a huge jump!  We're proud of Blake's personal XC work even when his race schedule conflicted with band competitions. His work payed off as his split times showed only a 0:39 difference. We were also excited that Ashton Randolph came in healed from an ankle injury to give us a solid #5 time and help pace Blake through the first 3 miles for his PR.
Gabriel Split Times: 

  1. 5:51
  2. 6:17 (+0:26)
  3. 6:04 (-0:13) Excellent Negative Split! 
  4. Final 0.1 mile kick of 0:41 seconds

Kayden Split Times: 

  1. 5:49
  2. 7:11 (+1:22)
  3. 6:46 (-0:25) Excellent Negative Split! 
  4. Final 0.1 mile kick of 0:50 seconds

Blake Split Times: 
  1. 8:02
  2. 8:41 (+0:39)
  3. 8:37 (-0:04) Excellent Negative Split! 
  4. Final 0.1 mile kick of 1:00 minute

Supportive Teammates: Even though Catherine Gottlied is out with an injury and Jackson Hodges was out with an illness, both runners came to support their teammates in encouragement and photography. We're grateful for this team that is coming together as a family around the common bond of running this season! 
Dairy Queen was a sweet treat after the race! 

To see more photos of the event, check out Catherine Gottlied's photos shared on Facebook here:

Our next meet is on Thursday, 10/20 at Baylor High School in Chattanooga:

The positions below reflect PR's from the last two weeks of races. 

In case you didn't know, Blake is 10.5 DQ cones tall! 


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