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Obion Central, Tornado runners hauling hardware to final meet

Obion Central, Tornado runners hauling hardware to final meet
Obion Central, Tornado runners hauling hardware to final meet | Obion Central, Tornado runners hauling hardware to final meet
By KEVIN WEAKS
Messenger Sports
When runners from Obion Central and Union City head off to Nashville in two weeks, they’ll be carrying some baggage with them.
The good kind of baggage.
Obion Central’s girls’ team and UC runner Daniel Williamson finished first while the Rebel boys’ squad placed second at the Region 7A-AA Cross Country Meet, held Tuesday at the OCCHS campus.
As a result of their gold and silver finishes, all participants have advanced to the Class A-AA State Meet on Saturday, Nov. 5, in Nashville. State finals will be held at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Cross Country Course. The A-AA girls’ meet starts at 10 a.m., followed by the boys’ at 10:45.
The Lady Rebels dominated the field by taking seven of the top 11 spots to win the regional team championship, while the OC boys had five medalists in earning the boys’ region runner-up plaque.
Williamson, meanwhile, ran away from the pack early and posted a time under 17 minutes to claim the boys’ individual regional championship.
The top three teams and top 10 runners advance to the state meet, while the top 15 runners medaled for their efforts.
“I was proud of them all,” OC head coach Pam Daniel said. “They’ll all medal in the region. We’ve been really fortunate this year. We were eighth in the Tennessee Classic, and we’ve won every other meet this year.”
Rachel Jones, a freshman, led the OC girls with a third-place time of 21 minutes, 27 seconds.
Sophomore Peyton Daniel and freshman Nichole Whitson immediately followed with respective times of 21:41 and 21:54.
Kris Storey, a senior, followed three spots later, a split-second putting her in eighth place with a time of 23:34. She was followed by three teammates as sophomore Brenna Wilkins was ninth in a time of 23:44, while senior twin sisters Brittney and Whittney Dodd were 10th and 11th in 23:51 and 24:16.
Looking to set the pace behind perennial meet winner Jackilyn Street of Bradford and Dresden’s Sarah Hatler — the two would finish 1-2 again — the Lady Rebels crowded out most of the field with just two minutes and 49 seconds separating their seven runners.
Joining the Lady Rebel seven at Nashville as an alternate will be sophomore Nicole Storey.
The strong overall effort has Daniel confident in her team’s prospects at the state meet.
“I think we’ll be very competitive,” Daniel said. “Our goal is to finish in the top five. We were 12th two years ago and 10th last year, and we’re shooting for top five. And, I think we can do even better, if our top five runners all have their best day. That’s hard to do but, if they do that, I think we can be right at the top.”
Williamson also has his sights set on a high finish.
Based on a year where he’s been first or second in virtually every meet, capped off by a strong run of 16 minutes, 48 seconds, the Union City junior could make some serious noise in Nashville.
“He’s been feeling confident, and he was really excited about this race,” UC coach Eddie Suiter said. “He’s even been asking my opinion of where I thought he could finish in state. I’m not going to say where I think he can finish, but we have a goal there, and I think he can be successful. I think we’re going to be proud of him in a couple of weeks.”
In placing second overall as a team, the Rebel boys put together a strong effort as well.
Drake Campbell led the way for OC with a fourth-pace finish, clocking an 18:09. Coleman Dunn was seventh in 18:31, while Austin Riley was 12th at 18:59 and Jackson Smith was right behind in 13th place with a time of 19:03.
Dakota Eaves made it three Rebels in a row with a 14th-place finish in 19:10.
Alex Terrell was 23rd in a time of 20:04, and Ian Miller placed 31st in 20:43 to round out the Central group.
Joining the seven OC runners as an alternate for the state meet will be Drew Crews. Published in The Messenger 10.26.11

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