By Maurice Patton
As area cross country teams look toward postseason preparation, Tuesday’s Ring Farm All-Comers Meet could have just as easily been tabbed the ‘Last Chance’ meet.
And at least one runner took advantage.
Spring Hill senior Michael Gerhart posted a personal best time on the 5K course, running a 16-minute, 33-second time to finish second behind Brentwood Academy’s Luke Thompson for boys individual honors.
“It didn’t go as planned,” Gerhart said. “I started out slow; I ran a 5:04 for the first mile.
“I’ll take a PR, though.”
Thompson (16:17) was one of three Brentwood Academy runners to finish in the top 10, along with Cayden Durrough (16:36, third place) and Alexander Lorenz (17:03, fifth place), as the Eagles won the team competition. With 38 points, BA placed ahead of Hume-Fogg (47), Columbia Academy (62), Lipscomb Academy (88) and Marshall County (122).
Hume-Fogg also had three top 10 finishers – Luke Robinson (16:46, fourth), Jack Underwood (17:47, seventh) and Auden Van Laeken (18:02, eighth).
Rounding out the top 10 were Zion Christian’s William Craig, who ran a 17:06 to place sixth, Columbia Academy freshman C.J. Durrough (18:20) and Columbia Central’s Sunny Quinn (18:22).
With the Region 5-Large Class meet set for Oct. 27 at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park, Spring Hill coach Jeremy Paisley said Gerhart is on the right track but still has some work to do.
“We’re hoping to get him down around 16:20,” Paisley said. “There are so many guys in our region that are so tough; some are down into the 15s. There’s a lot of good runners.”
Gerhart considers himself to be among them.
“I’ve trained,” he said. “I’ve trained hard. I’ve got 16:20 in me.”
On the girls side, Brentwood Academy had four of the top 10 finishers and took team honors. The Lady Eagles, with 37 points, were led by Micaiah Oates (21:36), who placed fifth overall with Mary Carolina Holmes (21:53) and Ellie Atchley (22:02) on her heels. Emily Melton, with a 22:24, placed ninth.
Forrest’s Jaedyn Stalnecker won the individual competition with a 20:47, with Columbia Academy’s Annabelle Cothran’s 21:03 good for second place. Chloe Crosslin of St. Cecilia ran a 21:12 for third and Lipscomb Academy’s Mamie Carman finished fourth at 21:17.
“I was hoping to break 21; I’ve never done it on this course,” Cothran said. “I’m pretty disappointed. But I know there’s still a couple of races ahead in the season, so I don’t want to let it get in my head too much.”
Lillian Quinn of Agathos Classical turned in a PR with her 22:14 for eighth place, with Summertown’s Alivia Riggs (22:25) placing 10th. In the team competition, St. Cecilia (70) was second, with Lipscomb (108) third, Summertown (122) fourth and Marshall County (131) fifth.