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Running through the Gorge… Cyclone boys’, Happy Valley girls’ claim second in Three Rivers Conference meet

It was too beautiful of a day not to take advantage of a great run over the cross country course at Doe River Gorge and that is exactly what teams from the Three Rivers Conference did on Thursday afternoon on a perfect fall day.

With boys taking to the course first and the girls following on a splendid day, the times were fast as runners laid it all out on the line over the 3.11-mile course.

In the boys’ competition, senior Drew Ledford of Sullivan East barely crossed the tape ahead of Elizabethton senior runner Craig Newman as Ledford completed the 3.11-mile course in 18:10.5 while Newman was :16 off the first-place finish crossing at 18:26.5.

Three Patriot runners finished close behind Newman as Jacob Witcher, Lance Littlejohn, and James Shirk finished third through fifth respectively.

Elizabethton freshman Riley Vernon had a great finish with a sixth-place finish covering the course in 19:32.1.

Other Cyclone boys’ finishers included sophomore Hunter Horan in eight place, freshman Max Garner (11th), freshman Brian Presley (13th), junior Randall Chinault (25th), sophomore Collin Nidiffer (26th), and sophomore Jonah Hall (28th).

The Happy Valley Warriors also participated in the event as junior Gavin Call had the highest finish coming in 20th with a time of 22:51.8.

Junior Skyler McCurry was the other Warrior runner who finished in 29th place.

In team standings, the Sullivan East Patriots finished in first with a team score of 20 while the Cyclones came in second with 40 total points and Sullivan South rounded out the top three with 66 points.

On the girls’ side, Sullivan East Lady Patriot junior Mandy Lowery finished first in a time of 20:36.7.

The win pushed the Lady Patriots to the top of the heap with a team score of 15 while the Happy Valley Lady Warriors finished in second place with 46 points.

Sophomore Gracyn Carder along with senior Blakelee Ollis and freshman Marcida Moore finished 12th through 14th to help the Lady Warriors secure the finish.

Happy Valley freshman Juley Nieminski (17th) and freshman Aleesha McCurry (19th) also had strong finishes.

Elizabethton’s top finisher was sophomore Brenann Vance who crossed the finish line in fourth place with a time of 24:54.6.

Other Lady Cyclones completing the course were junior Caitlin Darling (9th), sophomore Maggie Howland (11th), and sophomore Gracie Fields (16th).