Note: This story was last updated at 7:20 p.m.
For the second year in a row, the Oak Ridge High School boys cross country team has won the Region 2-AAA championship. The boys finished first in Knoxville on Thursday.
Oak Ridge senior Gashaw Duhamel finished first in the 5k race. Senior Tyler Boullie finished third, senior Thomas Colburn was sixth, junior Jacob Etheridge was seventh, and senior Daniel Beckett finished ninth.
Here are their times:
- Duhamel—16:18.55 (first)
- Boullie—16:24.13 (third)
- Colburn—16:43.09 (sixth)
- Etheridge—16:50.34 (seventh)
- Beckett—16:54.68 (ninth)
Oak Ridge finished with 26 points, and the other two teams in the top three, Maryville and Hardin Valley, both finished with 72. A lower score is better.
The Oak Ridge boys team will compete in the state meet on Saturday, November 7, at Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Course in Nashville.
The girls team finished fifth in Knoxville on Thursday and will not compete at state. The top three teams at region go to state. The top three girls teams were Hardin Valley Academy, Farragut High School, and Maryville High School.
Any individual runners who finish in the top 10 who are on teams that didn’t finish in the top three at the regional meet also go to state. There are a few boys from West in this category, Oak Ridge Coach Allen Etheridge said.
The ORHS boys and girls teams both won the region last year.
The boys team has been ranked number two in the state this year, but Etheridge said he considers the Wildcats to be a co-favorite to win in the state 5k on November 7. Brentwood also has a top team, Etheridge said.
“One thing about our guys, they’re really strong in the second half of the race,” Etheridge said. “They’re really strong-willed. They’re really competitive.”
The top runner on the Oak Ridge girls team in the Region 2 meet at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville on Thursday was sophomore Genevieve Schwartz. She finished 15th with a time of 21:06.05.
Etheridge said the course was wet and sloppy because it’s been raining the past four days or so. The runners ran slow, and there were a number of slick places.
Oak Ridge also dominated Maryville 18-57 on October 10 at the Cherokee Invitational in Knoxville.
“Maryville is a state top five team, so it was a good win,” Etheridge said after that meet.
The girls lost that meet on a tiebreaker to Baylor. Each team had 68 points.
“We ran great,” Etheridge said.
Finishing in the top 10 for the Oak Ridge boys in the earlier Cherokee meet were:
- First—Duhamel (16:10.35),
- Third—Etheridge (16:22.10),
- Fifth—Colburn (16:29.58),
- Sixth—Boullie (16:31.61), and
- Seventh—Sophomore Jose Villegas (16:32.21).
Etheridge said the boys team had spent the season running at the front of their races and had a win in McCallie and a strong third at Louisville.
“But, we hadn’t put the whole team out there on the line together at once until Cherokee,” Etheridge said. “Holy cow. Even I was impressed.”
He said that was Duhamel’s first varsity race this year, and he didn’t disappoint.
“He needs race experience,” Etheridge said of Duhamel after Cherokee. “He likes just to get on the front and race whoever is there, which worked well this time out. I felt like he ran well, but that he had a lot left in the tank.”
Etheridge, his son, also performed well, the coach said.
“Jake was strong—turns out his broken collar bone from last spring may have helped him because he’s looking good,” Etheridge said. “He sure isn’t afraid to race.”
That course was also muddy and slick due to significant rainfall the previous night.
“Our kids kind of like that, and even though they couldn’t run as fast as they wanted to, they competed really hard,” Etheridge said.
Schwartz was the top runner for the Oak Ridge girls at Cherokee. She finished eighth with a time of 20:17.68.
“Genevieve Schwartz has been our number one all year and had her best race at Cherokee—really tough over the second half to catch all but one Maryville girl,” Etheridge said. “That’s a personal record time for her. She doesn’t have the best form or the best mechanics, but she has guts and competitiveness in spades—that in itself makes a difference to our attitude.”
The Maryville girls team was third at Cherokee, with total points of 77. Stone Memorial was third in the boys meet, with total points of 91.
See the Cherokee boys results here.
See the Cherokee girls results here.
See the Oak Ridge Today story on the win in the McCallie Invitational here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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