Cannon County is making a strong entrance onto the cross-country scene this fall.
The Lions' boys and girls cross-country teams, in the program's first year of existence, have been competitive throughout the fall. The hard work paid off with a historic win after the Cannon County girls turned back Lincoln County, Shelbyville and Warren County to capture the first victory in program history at Franklin County.
"I have learned that cross country is very much a team sport," Cannon County coach Marc Larson said. "The girls' win Thursday at Franklin County was due to improvement of our third, fourth and fifth runners, along with the speed of our top two. It was a very good win for our girls."
The Lionettes dominated the field with a total of 42 points. Lincoln County was a distant second with 91, followed by Shelbyville (97) and Warren County (98).
Macey Clements and Hannah Faulkner led the Lionettes, who had three girls place in the top 10 and six in the top 15. Clements finished with a time of 25.05 and was fourth overall amongst the field. Teammate Faulkner was right behind with a 25.48 to finish fifth overall. Sara Hickman (27.38), Lauren Turney (30.07), Lauren Simmons (27.41) and Katie Hickman (27.44) finished 10-13, respectively. Savannah Bailey (30.14) clocked a top 20 finish at 19th overall.
Though Cannon County's boys did not capture a win, they did have a solid and competitive showing against Warren County, Webb, Franklin County, Shelbyville and Cannon County.
Jordan Turney continued to have an outstanding fall season. He captured a top 10 finish with a 20.45 on the 3.1-mile course. Turney finished 10th overall out of the 65-person field. Brad Hutchins was second for the Lions with a time of 21.47. He finished 17th overall. Mathew Turney (22.38) was 21st, Clay Luker (22.45) was 22nd and Wes Alexander (22.52) placed 23rd overall.
Larson said he has been proud of the progress of both teams throughout the course of the season.
"These kids have created their own success by the work they have done all summer," Larson said. "Last May half the team could not run two miles. Today they love to do endurance runs of 5-to-6 miles. Cross county is more intrinsic. They have learned to love to run. We have a total of 22 runners, and they all continue to chip away at their 5K times every race. I am extremely proud of the work ethic and improvement of both the girls and the boys teams."
Both Cannon County teams will participate in the 5K Cannon Blast Saturday (Sept. 17).