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Neglia misses third state title after being DQ’d

Tanner Cook • Nov 4, 2018 at 1:59 AM

NASHVILLE — There are not a whole lot of rules when it comes to cross country, but there are a few that are absolute.

Spectators, coaches and everyone at the TSSAA cross country state championships on Saturday at Percy Warner Park witnessed a bizarre situation in the Large School girls race that determined not only the individual title, but the team race as well.

GIRLS RACE

The penultimate race of the day was set up to be Round 3 of Dobyns-Bennett’s Sasha Neglia vs. Science Hill’s Jenna Hutchins, a matchup of “Thrilla in Manila” proportions for high school cross country.

Neglia, chasing a third consecutive state title, led from the gun and took the first quarter-mile out in 68 seconds. Hutchins sat back to conserve her energy before beginning to reel in Neglia.

Hutchins’ strategy worked and the freshman caught Neglia on the second inner loop at Iroquois Steeplechase. Both runners went through 2 miles at near course-record pace.

Entering the final stretches of the race, the two were side by side and at top gear.

With less than 400 meters to go, the course features a slight right bend leading into the home straightaway around a large evergreen tree. On Saturday, however, there were spectators in that turn and no lead golf cart after the first half-mile of the race.

With Neglia in the lead, a TSSAA official stepped in front of her and Hutchins and pointed them back to the course. Neglia cut in front of the tree when she was supposed to go behind it. Hutchins followed briefly, but cut back on the proper course just in the nick of time.

Neglia eventually got back on the course after having cut 20 meters or so.

Though Neglia crossed the line first in what was estimated to be a time of 17:25, Hutchins was declared the winner in 17:37 after a lengthy discussion among officials. Neglia was disqualified for cutting the course and gaining a clear advantage.

“I think it was a good race. I tried to start out slower and conserve some energy then pick it up later in the race,” Hutchins said. “My freshman season has been really awesome and it’s something to build on.”

Without Neglia’s points, the Lady Indians finished eighth in the team standings. Emma Russum led D-B with a 12th-place finish in 19:18 that earned her all-state honors.

A win by Neglia would have pushed to the Tribe to a runner-up finish.

The Lady Hilltoppers placed sixth and Daniel Boone seventh.

Other notable local finishes were by David Crockett’s Rachel Dulaney in 18th (19:28), Taylor Roy in 23rd (19:49), Elizabethton’s Lauren Pilkton in 24th (19:50) and Boone’s Judy Chellah in 26th (19:55).

Knoxville West won the team title with 130 points. Farragut was second with 155.

BOYS RACE

Science Hill’s Jeb Jones finished out a strong senior campaign with a fifth-place finish in a fast final race of the day. He crossed the line in 15:48.

“I was working the downhill and I ran really hard today,” Jones said. “I was trying to stay focused.”

Boone had another solid showing at state, finishing in sixth place as a team. Senior Matt Huff (37th, 17:02) and freshman Conner Wingfield (43rd, 17:10) led the Trailblazers.

Knox Catholic’s Jake Renfree won the boys’ title in 15:25.

Other local top finishes included Science Hill’s Aaron Jones in 20th (16:34), Cherokee’s Austin Kirkpatrick in 33rd (16:57) and D-B’s Tyler Mays in 104th (17:48).

Siegel successfully defended its state title with 73 points, beating runner-up Bartlett (145).

Science Hill finished in 13th place as a team.

SMALL SCHOOLS RACES

The University High boys successfully defended their state title while the girls finished as state runners-up.

Emerson Fulton of Gatlinburg-Pittman captured the individual boys championship in 16:41.02, and Loral Wynn of Dresden was the winner on the girls’ side in 19:37.02.


Saturday, Nov. 3

Percy Warner Park, Nashville

TSSAA Large School Championships

GIRLS

Team

1. Knoxville West 130, 2. Farragut 155, 3. Brentwood HS 168, 4. Arlington 169, 5. Houston 170, 6. Science Hill 171, 7. Daniel Boone 201 8. Dobyns-Bennett 203, 9. Hardin Valley Academy 220, 10. Siegel 230, 11. Independence 283, 12 Central Magnet 289, 13. Franklin 293, 14. Oakland 368, 15. Cookeville 381, 16. Collierville 381, 17. Dyer County 472, 18. Mount Juliet 507, 19. Station Camp 517, 20. Beech 542. 21. Covington 545, 22. Obion County 610, 23 Walker Valley 627, 24. Stone Memorial 675.

Top 15 individual finishers

1. Jenna Hutchins, Science Hill, 17:37, 2. Landri Wilcox, Cookeville, 18:05, 3. Leigh Walters, Fred J. Page, 18:25, 4.Skylar Boogerd, Arlington, 18:27, 5. Dinah Winders, Henry Country, 19:00, 6.Lesley Green, Rhea County, 19:04, 7. Andi-Marie Jones, Maryville, 19:05, 8.Samatha Ouelltte, Central Magnet, 19:07, 9. Marley Townsend, Knoxville West, 19:08, 10. Breja Hooks, Oakland, 19:13, 11. Eden Mittelsdorf, Brentwood HS, 19:16, 12. Emma Russum, Dobyns-Bennett, 19:18, 13. Isabell Trasolini, Dyer County, 19:20, 14. Callie Tucker, Knoxville Catholic, 19:22, 15. Elizabeth Babb, Knoxville West, 19:26

BOYS

Team

1. Siegel 73, 2. Bartlett 145, 3. Central Magnet 157, 4. Franklin 189, 5. Hardin Valley Academy 209, 6. Daniel Boone 211, 7. Farragut 224, 8. Collierville 227, 9. Beech 246, 10. Arlington 259, 11. Henry County 277, 12. Ravenwood 279, 13. Science Hill 297, 14. Independence 299, 15. Maryville 363, 16. Morristown West 367, 17. Rossview 395, 18. Cookeville 445, 19. Cleveland 480, 20. Chester County 529, 21. Riverdale 542, 22. Dyersburg 685, 23. Stone Memorial 700, 24. Munford 718.

Top 15 individual finishers

1. Jake Renfree, Knoxville Catholic, 15:25, 2. David Ahlmeyer, Beech, 15:40, 3. Cole Bullock, Red Bank, 15:44, 4. Davis Bove, Centennial, 15:45, 5. Jeb Jones, Science Hill, 15:48, 6. Adrien Britt, Lebanon, 15:56, 7. Evan Allen, Chester County, 15:56, 8. Fuji Anday, Central Magnet, 16:04, 9. Max Zani, Franklin, 16:09, 10.Cannan Anderson, Siegel, 16:13, 11. Miles Ally, Martin Luther King, 16:13, 12. Jackson Williams, Arlington, 16:21, 13. Bradley Turner, Houston, 16:24, 14. Silas Winders, Henry County, 16:26, 15. Jordan Thomas, Knoxville West, 16:26.


 

TSSAA Large School Championships

GIRLS

Top 10 teams

Signal Mountain 44, University High 99, Merrol Hyde 147, Dresden 151, Gibson County 160, White House Heritage 173, Cannon County 243, Alcoa 244, Gatlinburg-Pittman 248, Forrest 269

Top 15 individuals

1. Loral Wynn, Dresden 19:37.02; 2. Mattie Parker, Signal Mountain 19:53.66; 3. Tara Jessen, Signal Mountain 20:34.77; 4. Anna Johnson, Dresden 20:38.63; 5. Kaelyn Meier, Merrol Hyde Magnet 20:41.61; 6. Annabelle Cothran, Columbia Academy 20:48.17; 7. Lily Stinnett, Gatlinburg-Pittman 20:51.27; 8. Paige Mallon, Dresden 20:56.33; 9. Emma Bradford, Sequatchie County 21:07.77; 10. Ali Burns, University High, 21:13.74; 11. Kelsey Thompson, Signal Mountain 21:38.28; 12. Isabelle Johnson, University High 21:47.80; 13. Jaci White, Gibson County 21:51.85; 14. Sadie Frogge, East Nashville 21:57.68; 15. Gracen Glover, Signal Mountain 21:59.44.

BOYS

Top 10 teams

1. University High 79, Signal Mountain 94, L & N STEM Academy 123, Alcoa 125, Madison Academic Magnet 125, Gatlinburg-Pittman 212, Union City 229, Grace Christian Academy-Franklin 248, Merrol Hyde 268, West Greene 308

Top 15 individuals

1. Emerson Fulton, Gatlinburg-Pittman 16:41.02; 2. Porter Bradley, University High 16:42.57; 3. Alex Ponce, Merrol Hyde Magnet 16:45.52; 4. Seth Jinks, L & N STEM Academy 16:53.77; 5. Blake Ryan, University High 17:29.38; 6. Jackson Sparks, L & N STEM Academy 17:35.87; 7. TJ Martin, Alcoa 17:37.15; 8. Jacob Feeham, Scotts Hill 17:44.08; 9. Zack Williams, Huntingdon 17:46.87; 10. Connor Henson, Columbia Academy 17:51.25; 11. Nick Holloway, Alcoa 17:57.97; 12. James Defreese, L & N STEM Academy 18:03.87; 13. Austin Wingfield, Signal Mountain 18:04.42; 14. Dillon Messermore, Chuckey-Doak 18:05.37; 15. Jordan Blacker, Northview Academy 18:07.58

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