Area runners have began to make their way to next week’s TSSAA state cross country championships, with their performances in regional competition this week.
Most recently, Columbia Academy’s girls claimed a berth in the Division II-A state meet after placing third in Thursday’s DII-A Middle Region meet at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park. Junior Annabelle Cothran running a 21-minute, 15-second time over the 5K course to finish third, leading three Lady Bulldog top-10 placers. CA eighth-grader Presley Miller (21:16) placed fourth, with sophomore Jaelyn Hickerson (22:24) finishing ninth.
In the team competition, CA finished behind region titlist Christ Presbyterian Academy and runner-up University School of Nashville.
On the boys side, Columbia Academy junior Connor Henson turned in a winning time of 16:57, 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Trace Alexander of Battle Ground Academy. Zion Christian senior William Craig (17:58) placed seventh.
The top 10 individual region finishers and the top three teams advance to state competition.
Earlier this week, Independence’s girls placed second at the Region 6-Large Class meet, behind Brentwood and ahead of Franklin. Jayne Halterman placed second for the Lady Eagles, running an 18:09.33 to finish behind Page’s Leigh Walters (17:59.55), with Julia Halterman running a 18:23.62 for fourth place and Emma Wilson finishing in 19:34.03 for 10th.
In the boys competition, Spring Hill’s Michael Gerhart (16:37.50) and Independence’s Nate Martinez (16:38.00) placed eighth and ninth, respectively.
Columbia Central ran in the Region 4-Large Class meet at the Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro. Boys teams from Siegel, Murfreesboro Central and Oakland advanced to state, with girls teams from Siegel, Murfreesboro Central and Stewarts Creek moving on. Individually, Central’s Trace Schoeberl placed 26th with a time of 18:46.23.
On Friday, the Region 6-Small Class meet will take place at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill, with runners from Culleoka, Hampshire, Mt. Pleasant, Santa Fe and Summertown taking the course beginning at 9 a.m.