By Steve Reddick
Both Oak Ridge middle school cross country teams wrapped up their seasons at the City Championship meet held Tuesday, September 29, on the Jefferson Middle School campus.
Battling hard against determined Ram and Lady Ram teams, the JMS Eagle and Lady Eagle cross country teams emerged as City Champions in the meet.
Led by standout runner Jordan Van Druff, the Eagles captured 18 of the first 20 places in the boys race, including the top five positions, to finish the race with a perfect score of 15 points.
Robertsville Middle Schoolâ€™s top runner, seventh-grader Christopher Van Hook, placed sixth overall.
Van Druff wrapped up his JMS cross country career the way that he started it as a sixth-grader, easily outpacing the field to place first in a time of 10:57, two minutes before the second-place finisher. He was undefeated in all of Jeffersonâ€™s regular season races during his three-year career.
Other top Eagle runners were eighth-graders Dalton Morgan, Balin Allred, Will Dallas, Bill Andress, Charli Rodriguez, Andrew Ledden, Kenny Moon, and Ethan Brady, and seventh-grader DeMarcus Wright. The Eagle team featured 40 runners in all.
On the girlsâ€™ side, the Lady Eagles defeated a tough Lady Rams team led by seventh-grade standout Josie Fellers. The two teams fought several close races throughout the season, but the Lady Eagles ran hard to win the City Championship on their home course, scoring 24 points to Robertsvilleâ€™s second-place 50 points.
The Lady Eagles were led by seventh-grader Muskaan Vohra, who battled hard against Fellers and placed second overall with a time of 13:39. She was joined in the top 10 by sixth-grader Abby Hausladen and fellow seventh-graders Zoe and Max Marczak, and Mollie Smith.
Lesly Chavez, Bekah Joyal, Misty Greenhalgh, Ruthie Froning, Lydia Cooke, and Keyanna Thompson were other top finishers for the Lady Eagles, who captured 16 of the top 20 positions in the race.
The Eaglesâ€™ and Lady Eaglesâ€™ only defeats this season came at the hands of Cleveland Middle School, the Lady Eagles finishing just one point away from an undefeated season.
Jefferson is coached by Steve Reddick. The Ram and Lady Ram teams are led by first-year coaches Sean Greene and Laura Scott.
Reddick is a coach and teacher at JMS.