KNOXVILLE—The Oak Ridge girls’ cross country team ran its best race of the year but finished fourth in the region on Thursday, just missing the cutoff to advance to the state meet next Saturday.
Only the top three teams in the Region 2-AAA meet at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville on Thursday advanced to the state meet in Nashville next Saturday.
However, Oak Ridge junior Genevieve Schwartz finished 10th in the 5,000-meter, or 5k, race. Anyone who finishes in the top 10 and is not on a qualifying team advances to state.
The top three girls’ teams in the Region 2 meet were West, Farragut, and Hardin Valley. West, a Knoxville school, had the top two runners, Lindsey Stallworth and Madeline Shook.
Anderson County and Hardin Valley each had two runners in the top 10, and like Oak Ridge, Farragut had one.
It will be the first trip to state for Schwartz, who finished with a time of 20:36.90.
“I’m excited,” Schwartz said. “This is the first time I get to go to a state meet.”
Oak Ridge Coach Allen Etheridge said it was easily the best race of the year for the Oak Ridge girls. A month ago, he probably would have expected them to finish 10th in the region, Etheridge said. He said the girls took a few chances and weren’t afraid to try new things.
“They just kept hammering and getting better,” Etheridge said. “They just kept working and got competitive in the region.”
Schwartz worked really hard, Etheridge said. She may not be pleased with her regional finish on Thursday, but she is moving on to state, Etheridge said.
He said freshmen Mollie Smith and Jessie Strader ran great Thursday, and seniors Abbey Greenhalgh and Maddie Zawsiza ran well also.
The Oak Ridge girls’ team just got beat by three really good teams that are probably in the top six or seven in the state, Etheridge said.
Here are the top 14 finishes in the girls race:
- 1st: Lindsey Stallworth, West—19:01.72
- 2nd: Madeline Shook, West—19:29.27
- 3rd: Anna Delahunt, Farragut—19:55.55
- 4th: Madison Grimm, Hardin Valley—20:11.16
- 5th: Rylee Jorgensen, Maryville—20:14.51
- 6th: Maddy Moody, Anderson County—20:24.99
- 7th: Mollie Longmire, Anderson County—20:27.11
- 8th: Jenna Wall, Hardin Valley—20:29.93
- 9th: Rachel Jordan, Halls—20.36.06
- 10th: Genevieve Schwartz, Oak Ridge—20:36.90
- 11th: Elisabeth Bernard, West—20:41.40
- 12th: Ellie Bachmann, Hardin Valley—20:46.53
- 13th: Elizabeth Babb, West—20:58.51
- 14th: Maggie Atchley, Farragut—21:05.84
Besides Schwartz, those who were not on a qualifying team and finished in the top 10 included Rylee Jorgensen of Maryville, Maddy Moody and Mollie Longmire of Anderson County, and Rachel Jordan of Halls.
Strader of Oak Ridge finished 15th (21:08.30), and Greenhalgh finished 17th (21:17.32). Three Oak Ridge runners finished in a group: Smith was 22nd (21:43.91), junior Robyn Wood was 23rd (21:44.06), and Zawisza was 24th (21:45.02).
Freshman Eden Gee was 32nd with a time of 22:34.99.
Anderson County finished sixth in the girls’ race, and Clinton finished 10th.
You can see the complete results for Thursday’s girls’ race here.
Next Saturday’s race is at Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Course in Nashville.
See photos from the girls’ race here.
See a story on the boys’ race here. The Oak Ridge boys finished first in the region and will compete at state next week.
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