Tag Archives: high school cross country

Summertown trio signs college scholarships

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Three Summertown athletes signed national letters of intent Wednesday as the NCAA fall recruiting period officially opened.

Claire Woods, a three-sport athlete for the Lady Eagles, inked a softball scholarship with Middle Tennessee State, while multi-sport classmates Hailey Jones and Kaley Campbell signed with North Alabama and Austin Peay, respectively — Jones for softball, Campbell for golf.

Summertown’s Claire Woods signed a softball scholarship Wednesday with Middle Tennessee State. (Courtesy photo)

Woods, a pitcher/third baseman, joins the Lady Raiders as the top-ranked signee in their fall recruiting class, listed at No. 117 overall in the Extra Inning Softball top 200. She is listed as the 64th-best pitcher in the country in the Extra Elite Player Rankings, making her No. 6 among Conference USA signees and second in Tennessee.

At the time of her verbal commitment, Scout Softball had Woods ranked as the third-best uncommitted pitcher in the nation.

Through three seasons at Summertown High School, Woods has a 1.10 ERA with 307 strikeouts in 255 innings pitched. In addition to her work in the circle, Woods boasts a .459 batting average with 14 homers. She was named All-District Pitcher of the Year as a freshman and District MVP as a sophomore. Woods qualified for the Small Class State Championships in cross country and also lettered in basketball for two years.

“We think she may be the best pitcher we’ve recruited here,” MTSU coach Jeff Breeden said in announcing his recruiting class, which also includes Siegel infielder Claire Czajkowski, Macon County utility player Abby Shoulders and Anyce Harvey, an outfielder from Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.).

“She throws in the mid-60s, and she’s thought in the travel ball circles to be in the top five percent of pitchers in America. We’ll give her an opportunity, and we’ll see how far she can take us.”

Summertown’s Hailey Jones signed a softball scholarship Wednesday with North Alabama. (Courtesy photo)

Jones started as a freshman on Summertown’s 2018 Class A state title team and was a starter on the 2019 team that finished as state runner-up. She’s also been a key performer on the Lady Eagles’ consecutive Class A state championship volleyball teams, and plays basketball as well.

Campbell earned four straight individual and team region golf titles, with Summertown taking home three Small Class state titles during her tenure. She claimed the 2018 Small Class individual title, shooting a two-day 148 to win by six strokes.

Summertown’s Kaley Campbell signed a golf scholarship Wednesday with Austin Peay State University. (Courtesy photo)

On the junior golf circuit, she was the 2019 SNEDS Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year in the Girls age 16-18 category, winning five of seven tour events in which she participated that summer. 

“Kaley is a consistent player that brings a calming presence to those around her,” APSU coach Jessica Combs said. “She never stops grinding on or off the golf course, whether it’s battling an injury or needing to birdie the last hole to win. We are so excited to have her on the team, and I’m looking forward to watching her improve during her time in Clarksville.”

In addition to being a four-time All-State performer on the course, she also helped lead the Lady Eagles to the 2018 Class A softball state title and a runner-up finish in 2019. She was selected as the 2018 Middle Tennessee Class A/Division II Miss Softball by the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association, and was a member of the 2018 Class A basketball state runner-up squad. Following a knee injury that cut her junior season short, she is expected to return to the court this season.

Henson ‘drops hammer’, claims DII-A state cross country title

By Maurice Patton

After winning the TSSAA Division II-A boys cross country state championship, Connor Henson didn’t go to Disney World.

But it was close.

“We’re going to Dollywood for a weekend getaway. Then it’s back to work,” said the Columbia Academy junior, who was dominant in Friday’s title race – running a 16-minute, 8.33-second time over the 5K Sanders Ferry Park course at Hendersonville to finish 39 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Harding Academy’s Andy Henton (16:47.41).

“I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous for this one. I knew I’d have a lot of supporters come out and I had a big target on my back. There were multiple guys that it could have gone either way if I’d had a bad day. But I knew I was going to have a good day.”

Columbia Academy junior Connor Henson ran a 16:08.33 Friday to win the Division II-A state cross country boys meet at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park, outdistancing the competition by nearly 40 seconds. (Photo by Mike Strasinger / SportsNashville)

Henson finished 10th in the Division I Class A state meet as a freshman, then placed sixth in last year’s DII-A competition.

“Last year we learned a lot,” Henson’s father, CA coach Brady Henson, said. “We felt like he was really strong, and we just felt like it unraveled at the last meet. This year, watching his poise and sticking to a game plan was just an unbelievable thing, to see it all come together.

“He executed the game plan we had for him and it was to win the last half of the race – hold steady with whoever was leading the first half take over and apply pressure for the rest of the race.”

The younger Henson said it played out just that way.

“After the first half, I dropped the hammer,” he said. “I said to myself, if they’re going to win, they have to go with me. I really wanted to put the race away. When I crossed the line, I didn’t know how close he was because I didn’t look back like I usually do.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more. I’m going to celebrate and enjoy this one and then get back to work. I’m not going to get cocky or complacent. Hopefully I can continue this into track and it’ll be the first of many. It’s a really addictive feeling.”

William Craig closed his high school cross country career with a Top 20 finish at the TSSAA Division II-A state meet, running a 17:45.29 Friday to finish 18th for Zion Christian. (Photo by Mike Strasinger / SportsNashville)

Zion Christian senior William Craig placed 18th with an 17:45.29.

Led by junior Annabelle Cothran’s eighth-place individual finish, Columbia Academy’s girls finished fifth in the DII-A team competition.

“I had hoped for a top five (team) finish,” Henson said. “I felt like our team was strong enough to get there and finish fifth. I didn’t think we ran one of our better races at regionals, but I didn’t think we ran one of our better races (Friday).”

St. George’s won the team championship, with Knoxville Webb taking runner-up honors followed by University School of Nashville, Christ Presbyterian Academy and CA.

Annabelle Cothran’s eighth-place finish at Friday’s Division II-A girls state cross country meet helped Columbia Academy to a fifth-place team result. (Photo by Mike Strasinger / SportsNashville)

Cothran’s 20:48.13 – two minutes off the pace of Webb-Bell Buckle’s Anna Faith Cheeseman (18:45.90), who won the race – was followed by CA eighth-grader Presley Miller (17th place, 21:49.67) and sophomore Jaelyn Hickerson (27th, 22:43.73). Lila Pulley (47th, 24:35.09), Kaitlyn Oakley (57th, 25:42.85), Caroline Graham (63rd, 27:14.83) and Sadie Gray (64th, 27:19.10) rounded out the Lady Bulldog lineup.

“I think Annabelle was exactly where we thought she’d be,” Henson said. “Her field scattered out early on; the top three went out, and then she hung back with the next four and they got each other through the race. We were very pleased with the effort she gave us.

“Presley has really solidified this team for the next couple of years. She did an amazing job in middle school, we felt she was strong enough to compete at the high school level and she truly did.”

Lady Eagles place third at state cross country meet

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Buoyed by Top-15 finishes Thursday by Jayne and Julia Halterman, Independence’s girls placed third at the TSSAA Cross Country Large Class State Championships.

Running on the 5K course at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park, Jayne Halterman ran an 18-minute, 32.29-second time to place 11th – two minutes behind individual champion Jenna Hutchins of Science Hill (16:30.84). Julia Halterman crossed the finish line in 18:38.02 to finish 13th.

Senior Emma Wilson (19:48.42) finished 33rd, with sophomore Emma Pearson (19:48.94) one spot back. Samantha Ude (21:02.09, 81st) and Joanna Halterman (21:46.65, 104th) rounded out the Lady Eagles’ effort.

Brentwood won the girls team title, followed by Farragut and Independence.

Lebanon’s Aiden Britt ran a 15:29.69 to win the boys individual championship. Spring Hill’s Michael Gerhart placed 31st with a 16:49.92, with Independence’s Nate Martinez running a 17:43.83 to finish 100th.

Hardin Valley Academy won the team championship, followed by Franklin and Houston.

In the Small Class girls competition, Forrest’s Jaedyn Stalnecker finished third with a 20:22.07, behind Fairview’s Alyssa Andrea (20:04.62) and Signal Mountain’s Kelsey Thompson (20:14.71).

Summertown freshman Alivia Riggs placed 21st with a 22:27.98, with senior teammate Claire Woods running a 25:32.28 to finish 95th.

Signal Mountain took team honors, followed by Merrol Hyde and Gatlinburg-Pittman.

Among the boys, Camden’s Will Douglas turned in a winning time of 16:01.78. Signal Mountain won the team title, ahead of Merrol Hyde and Alcoa.

Santa Fe’s top individual finisher was Josh Martin, who ran a 19:38.75 for 83rd place. He was followed by Ryan Seltz (20:15.59), Samuel Trout (20:39.85), Shayne West (21:49.70), Bowman Ruch (22:09.53), Jackson Irwin (23:25.01) and Elijah Crumley (28:33.11).

Division II competition will take place Friday at Sanders Ferry Park, with the Class AA girls running at 10 a.m., the Class AA boys at 10:40 a.m., the Class A girls – with Columbia Academy – at 2 p.m. and the Class A boys at 2:40 p.m. CA’s Connor Henson and Zion Christian’s William Craig will both be in the final race.

Locals chasing championships at state cross country meet

By Maurice Patton

Three local teams and six individuals will be among the athletes participating in the TSSAA Cross Country State Championships beginning Thursday at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park.

Of those, Columbia Academy junior Connor Henson may have the best chance of bringing home a title. Henson won last week’s Division II-A Middle Region meet, posting a time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds over the same 5K course he’ll encounter Friday.

“It’s a big race. It’s what we’ve prepared for all season,” he said. “My only goal is to go out and win. I could care less, if I go under 16 or if I run 18. Whatever it takes to get the win, I’ll be satisfied.”

As a sophomore, Henson ran a 17:00.63 at the Iroquois Steeplechase to place sixth in DII-A, after finishing 10th in the Small Class state meet his freshman year with a 17:51.25.

“That was my worst performance (of the year); I’ve learned a lot from it,” Henson said of his 2019 state competition.

“This will be my third time on this course. I ran a 16:24 the first time. I know I’m in shape to run under 15:40. I’m not saying that means I’m going to do that, but I have my race plan my coaches and I have discussed. I’m out there on my own. I just have to be ready for anything.”

Henson and Zion Christian senior William Craig, who placed seventh in the DII-A Middle Region meet with a 17:58, will run at 2:40 p.m. Friday in the final race of the two-day championships.

Columbia Academy’s girls will run at 2 p.m. Friday, after the Lady Bulldogs finished third in the regional with three Top 10 runners – junior Annabelle Cothran (third place, 21:15), eighth-grader Presley Miller (fourth place, 21:16) and sophomore Jaelyn Hickerson (ninth place, 22;24).

On Thursday, Independence’s girls will run in the 10 a.m. Division I Large Class meet.

“It’s hard to get a read on the field, but we’re glad to have the opportunity to compete,” veteran Lady Eagles coach Luke Finley said. “We haven’t seen a lot of the teams from East or West Tennessee; a lot of teams haven’t been 100 percent when they’ve gone out and run. They haven’t had their full seven together. It’s kind of a Pandora’s box. We know a little less than we typically do, so you expect a little unpredictability.

“All you can do is go run your race.”

Freshman Jayne Halterman will set the pace for Independence, coming off a second-place regional finish at Sanders Ferry with an 18:09.33. Junior Julia Halterman finished fourth (18:23.62), with senior Emma Wilson (19:34.03) placing 10th.

“Our freshman has moved into that No. 1 role,” Finley said. “She’s running with some confidence. Freshmen, feeling their way into high school competition, have a pretty big learning curve, but she’s handled it well. She’s been consistent, pretty even keeled. Julia’s the older sister, she’s been around. Emma’s our only senior; she’s that ‘maternal’ figure. She’s been around a bit longer, she’s seen all this before. She holds it all together.”

Spring Hill’s Michael Gerhart (16:37.50) and Independence’s Nate Martinez (16:38.00), who placed eighth and ninth in last week’s regional meet, will run in the 10:40 a.m. boys Division I Large Class race.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, Summertown’s Alivia Riggs and Claire Woods will be among the girls Division I Small Class competitors, with Santa Fe’s boys team in the 2:40 p.m. competition.

Riggs finished sixth at Henry Horton a week ago, running a 22:55, with Woods finishing in 23:25 for 10th place.

Ryan Seltz (19th, 20:08) and Josh Martin (20th, 20:10) led the way for the Wildcats in the boys regional.

Thursday: 10 a.m. — Division I Large Class Girls; 10:40 a.m. — Division I Large Class Boys; 2 p.m. — Division I Small Class Girls; 2:40 p.m. — Division I Small Class Boys

Friday: 10 a.m. — Division II Class AA Girls; 10:40 a.m. — Division II Class AA Boys; 2 p.m. — Division II Class A Girls; 2:40 p.m. — Division II Class A Boys   

Santa Fe boys claim second straight berth in state XC meet

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With one exception, Maury County runners came up just short – literally, in one case – of qualifying for state cross country competition with their performances at Friday’s Region 6-Small Class meet at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill.

Mt. Pleasant’s Ben Hirsch, a state qualifier a year ago, finished 11th Friday with a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds over the 5K course. The top 10 individuals and top three teams advance. Hirsch crossed the line a second behind East Hickman’s Eduardo Moreno for the final spot.

Fairview’s Ryan Keeton (16:38), Matthew Andrea (17:17) and Dylan Hammond (18:27) swept the top three places individually, pacing the Yellow Jackets to the team championship.

Santa Fe, led by Ryan Seltz’s 19th-place individual finish (20:08) tied Forrest for second, with both teams set to run Friday at the state small-class meet at Hendersonville’s Sanders Ferry Park. Josh Martin (20:10) placed 20th for Santa Fe.

Jackson Gary ran a 19:33 to place 13th for Mt. Pleasant, followed by Summertown’s Skyler Trousdale (19:36). Errette Delk ran a 20:00 for Hampshire, good for 17th individually.

Alyssa Andrea of Fairview won the girls individual title with a 19:59. Summertown’s Alivia Riggs (22:55) and Claire Woods (23:25) placed sixth and 10th, respectively. Santa Fe’s Lillian Trout (24:10) was the county’s top finisher, coming in at No. 17.

Moore County, Forrest and Huntland were the top three team finishers.

The state championships are set for Thursday and Friday, with Division I competition on Thursday and DII on Friday at Sanders Ferry. The full schedule is as follows:

Thursday: 10 a.m. — Division I Large Class Girls; 10:40 a.m. — Division I Large Class Boys; 2 p.m. — Division I Small Class Girls; 2:40 p.m. — Division I Small Class Boys

Friday: 10 a.m. — Division II Class AA Girls; 10:40 a.m. — Division II Class AA Boys; 2 p.m. — Division II Class A Girls; 2:40 p.m. — Division II Class A Boys

State cross country fields taking shape as regionals wind down

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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.