Lion mates in stride with Hatler’s pace
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:02 pm
NASHVILLE — Sarah Hatler made one final run to the state capital. This time, several of her closest friends came with her.
Hatler, her Dresden Lady Lions’ teammates and boys’ runner Austin Maxey competed in the Class A-AA TSSAA State Cross Country Meet at the Steeplechase Course in Percy Warner Park on Saturday.
And, Hatler made her final high school meet a memorable one, indeed.
Hatler’s 21st place finish overall helped the Lady Lions to a 19th place spot in the team standings, while Maxey represented the Dresden boys with a 82nd place finish.
“I think they did very well,” Dresden coach Wendi Maxey said. “There are five of them here for the first time, and their times are all pretty good for first time at state.”
While her teammates were running in the state finals for the first time, Hatler has been a regular on the guest list during her high school career, this marking her third appearance.
She did what a seasoned veteran does by improving her time and place, making her last state meet run her best.
Hatler ran a time of 21 minutes, 41.37 seconds to take the No. 21 spot, her best time and place in state competition.
“Sarah has done well all year,” Maxey said. “She had her best time at state. She’s improved her time and place every year she’s been here.”
By finishing among the top three teams in the Region 7A-AA meet two weeks ago, the entire Lady Lions’ squad made the trip.
Junior Theresa Mini-squero was next up in the standings for Dresden, running a time of 26:33.14 to earn 109 points, while classmate Katelin Brown was three spots back with a time of 27:09.16.
Tiana Winstead, the only other senior on the Dresden team, clocked a 28:38.44, and Christen Patterson ran a 49:37.11.
Perhaps the most thrilled for the Dresden team was Hatler, whose genuine enthusiasm and support for her teammates has provided a lift.
“She’s a major influence over the whole team,” Maxey said. “Sarah and Tiana have been doing this since the sixth grade, and they’ve both been positive leaders for the team.”
The Dresden boys’ representative had a strong showing as well with a time of 19:03.55
“Austin did very well,” his coach said. “He passed a lot near the end. People who have beaten him before. So, he did very well for the first time. He was tired because he’d pushed hard at the end.”
While this marked the junior’s first high school state meet, he was a regular in the junior high state finals.
Barbara Lee Ball of David Lipscomb won the girls’ individual title in a time of 19:21.93, and Chattanooga Christian won the team title.
Ball won her second consecutive state crown.
Sam Klockenkemper of Martin Luther King won the boys’ individual state title with a time of 16:22.46, while Greeneville won the state team title. Published in The WCP 11.8.11