By TONY STINNETT Courier Sports Editor
SMYRNA - When Cannon County’s cross-country teams show up for a match the competition has come to realize the Lionettes and Lions mean business.
In just the third year of program existence Cannon County’s cross country teams have made gigantic strides.
The run continued at the Sharp Springs Invitational in Smyrna, where the Lionettes finished second, behind Brentwood High School, to claim second in the Silver Division.
The Lions also finished second in the silver division with 86 points, 10 points behind first-place Merrol Hyde Magnet.
Marshall McReynolds and Jordan Turney continued to dominate area courses, finishing one and two to pace the field, and the Lions.
McReynolds finished first with a 17:49.49 and Turney was second with a 18:03.90.
Jake Burdick was third on the team and 13th overall with an 18:49.97. McReynolds, Turney and Burdick earned trophies as top finishers.
Teammate Devin Gilpatrick was 32nd (19:53.02), followed by T.J. Paul in 38th with a 20:33.14, Umar Rasul (54th, 21:15.66) and Sam Sissom (72nd (22.40.06).
The Lionettes were equally impressive.
Whited, a freshman, continued a tradition of a rookie Lionette bursting onto the scene. First it was Hannah Faulkner, who reached the state as a freshman in 2010. Elva Magana earned a trip to state as a rookie in 2011 and Whited appears primed to do the same for the Lionettes in 2013.
The Auburntown native finished third in the Silver Division with a 22:08.27 to earn a trophy as a top finisher. Teammate Hannah Faulkner had an outstanding result in her first meet of the season, finishing 12th with a 24:37.38. Faulkner’s return adds depth to an already strong team.
Sophomore Elva Magana was 19th with a 25:26.94, followed by Sarah Hickman in 23rd with a 25:55.22, Autumn King in 29th with a 26:37.65, Katie Hickman 36th with a 27:56.91 and Lauren Turney was 38th with a 28:32.9. King’s time was a personal best.
Cannon County’s boys junior varsity also participated. They finished ninth with Jake Hoskins leading the way with a 21:06.7 Also factoring for the Lions were Briar Jakes, Tyler Bailey, Walker Hatfield, Dakota Grandstaff, Jacob Barnes, Aaron Smith and Michael Higdon, who turned in a personal best. Victoria Beaty participated in the girls junior varsity.
After a strong showing at Silver Springs, both teams continued to flex its muscle at the Chattanooga Area XC League Meet, which does not separate public and private and all three classes also run together.
Cannon County’s boys finished seventh out of 31 teams, led by Marshall McReynolds and Jordan Turney, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively, out of 215 participants.
McReynolds ran a personal best 17:33.40 to finish seventh, and Turney also produced a personal best of 17:34.70 and finished just behind his teammate.
Jake Burdick finished 39th overall with a 18:54.24, followed by freshman Devin Gilpatrick (80th, 19:51.64) and T.J. Paul (90th, 20:06.05). Also participating for the Lions’ varsity were Umar Rasul (102nd, 20:24.30), and Jake Hoskins (142nd, 21:17.58).
The Lionettes also had a strong showing at Chattanooga finishing sixth out of 19 teams.
Freshman Hannah Whited was fourth overall with a 20:25.78, which is a personal best. Helping pace the Lionettes was Elva Magana, whose 21:59.22 was a personal best and good enough for 21st overall. Also factoring for the Lionettes were Hannah Faulkner (47th, 24:01.39), Sarah Hickman (58th, 24:53.20) and Katie Hickman (69th, 25:39.82). Also participating for Cannon County were Autumn King (86th, 26:54.98) and Lauren Turney (93rd, 28:07.49).
Cannon County junior varsity Lions also performed well, finishing fourth out of 16 teams.
John Frazier led the way, finishing 11th out of 138 runners with a time of 20:23.16. Briar Jakes turned in a top 20 finish when he crossed the finish line 17th with a 20:44.22.
Also aiding the Lions’ cause were Sam Sissom and Dakota Grandstaff at 23rd and 24th, respectively, followed by Tyler Bailey in 52nd.