Courier Sports Editor
Cannon County's cross country teams continued their outstanding season with impressive showings at the Sparta Backyard Invitational Saturday (Sept. 20).
Four Lionettes ran to a second-place finish with three runners earning medals, and the Lions claimed a third-place finish as two team members earned individual accolades.
Hannah Whited, Erin McReynolds, Elva Magana and Hannah Faulkner all turned in Top 15 finishes to earn medals as the Lionettes finished second with 53 points. They were just behind winner Cookeville, which had 31 points. Cannon County finished ahead of Rhea County (71), Cumberland County (81) and Central Magnet (132).
Kristen Hale just missed earning a medal but still turned in a Top 20 finish. Hale was 17th.
Cannon County's boys also had another sterling day. The Lions were third overall in the loaded field, finishing behind Cookeville (40) and Lebanon (49).
Mainstay Marshall McReynolds had another outstanding showing and led the Lions. McReynolds was fifth overall out of the 96 runners with a time of 15:02.20 on the 4,000-meter trek. Freshman Austin Duggin continued his breakout season with a 20th-place finish to earn an individual medal. Duggin finished just ahead of teammate Jake Burdick, who was 21st overall.
Another promising freshman, Corey Seymour, also continued to produce consistent results. Seymour finished 27th overall and Devin Gilpatrick rounded out the top five for the Lions with a 32nd-place finish.
Cannon County's top five girls finishers all were in the Top 20 out of 75 participants on the girls side.
Whited finished fifth overall with an 18:35.04, just ahead of teammate Erin McReynolds who was sixth with an 18:49.08. Magana just missed a Top 10 finish. She was 11th. Faulkner was 14th overall and Hale was 17th. Alyna Reed and Sarah Hickman finished 20th and 28th, respectively. Laura Nichols also participated for the Lionettes.
In addition to the top five finishers for the Lions, Tristan Morten and Sam Sissom finished 36th and 39th, respectively.
John Frazier, Reece Wisdom, Tyler Bailey, Aaron Smith and Michael Higdon also competed for Cannon County.
Only the top five finishers count toward the team score.