EHS cross country team set for TSSAA state run

Published 11:51 pm Thursday, November 4, 2021

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Thursday morning was a special time for the Elizabethton boy’s cross country team and girl’s individual qualifier Reaghan Curde as the group departed for Hendersonville to compete in the 2021 TSSAA Cross Country Championship.

Making it more special was the school’s student body and members of the ‘Betsy Band drumline seeing them off as many students held signs while others waved to show their support to their fellow classmates.

The boys earned their first trip to the state championship since 2007 after finishing third at the Class AA Regional at Gray on Oct. 26 behind Volunteer and Sullivan East.

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Riley Vernon led the Cyclone charge finishing in eighth place followed by Max Garner (11), Brian Presley (28), Cooper Chinault (35), and Cooper Jack (51).

Curde crossed the finish line in 13th to earn her individual berth.

“I was biting my nails because I was watching placements of people here and people there, and I didn’t know if we were going to get in or not,” said cross country head coach Mark Newman.

“Knox Catholic has a tough runner and Gatlinburg Pittman is going to be in there with us along with Volunteer and Sullivan East. There are a lot of schools coming up from Chattanooga. Signal Mountain is going to be one of the toughest ones there. That is the one that I think that – well, every dog can have its day is the way I look at it and with running you don’t know what it’s going to be like.”

One of the concerns for not only Elizabethton but the rest of the teams is the condition of the course at Sanders Ferry Parkway in Hendersonville. Newman said that course videos have shown it to be a little sludgy but the sun has been shining for the last three days.

“We are the Cyclones so we can go down there and show them what it’s all about,” Newman said with a large smile. “We are shooting for the top 10 and if we finish any higher than that it’s going to be the cherry on top.”

Curde will take the course at 1:20 p.m. central time Friday in the girl’s race while the boy’s team will hit the course immediately afterward at 2:10 p.m. central time.