BY JESSE SMITHEY
Chelsea Osborne, the Farragut High School cross-country coach, admittedly had a sneaking suspicion months ago that her boys’ squad was capable of reaching state-champion status this fall.
The Admirals had run well the past two state championships at Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville, Tenn.
And they revisited the course in early October and “had a great day,” Osborne said.
Well, Farragut had an outstanding day there on Friday, Nov. 4.
That’s when the boys program’s won its first TSSAA state cross-country championship in more than 20 years.
Farragut’s winning point total was 60 points clear of runner-up Beech, and the championship was the program’s fourth overall — but first since 2001. Their other titles came in 1992 and 1999.
“It’s a two-loop course. And in the first loop, everyone was still pretty much tight together,” Osborne said. “It was us and Brentwood as the two favorites going in. So we were watching them. Beech, from Hendersonville, we were paying attention to them.
“But once the second lap started, it seemed to be like, ‘OK, the Farragut kids were moving up.'”
The Admirals ended the title drought in dominating fashion, placing all five qualifying finishers in the top 20 — including three in the top five.
Cleveland freshman Owen Clemons won the individual crown by 11 seconds at 15:22.47.
Farragut senior Trevor Coggin, the Admirals’ top runner all season, took second at 15:33.13.
“Trevor just brings confidence. It’s been a lot of fun watching him develop over four years,” said Osborne. “He really came into this year knowing, ‘Let’s go after it. Let’s be the frontrunner. Let’s take races instead of holding back and hoping you can catch up to those front groups.’ That’s been fun to watch him develop into that confident athlete who can run with anybody.”
Farragut junior Braden Ebbert was fourth at 15:43.75 and fellow classmate Matteo Tonnos placed fifth at 15:46.98.
“Braden, I’ve worked with him for three years now. He’s very similar to Trevor in that Trevor really pulls a lot out of good out of Braden in races. Matteo is brand new (to the program). He just moved here from Canada. I’m still learning a lot about Matteo. But he really added a lot to the team this year. He brings in a wealth of running knowledge. He loves the sport and researches the sport.
“He actually specializes in triathlons, so this was his first ever full cross-country season, focusing solely on running.”
Coggin, Ebbert and Tonnos all earned all-state honors for their finishes.
Other Farragut runners who contributed to the winning mark include: senior Quinn DeGuira (18th, 16:23.13) and junior Harris Cunningham (20th, 16:33.04).
Bearden sophomore Cade Crum finished in third place, crossing the finish line in 15:43.69.
Class AAA GIRLS
Hannah Kramer was the lowest area finisher, taking fourth place. The Karns sophomore crossed the finish line in 18:50.76.
Oak Ridge freshman Dylan Job was sixth. She finished in 19:03.44.
Hardin Valley standout junior Maddie Archdale wound up 11th at 19:16.99, and Karns junior Rylee Gifford got a top-15 finish. She took 14th place in 19:20.51.
Brentwood won the Class AAA girls. Farragut finished fifth. HVA was ninth.
DIVISION II-AA BOYS
The Knoxville Catholic boys finished fourth in a tough field, as McCallie proved dominant on the day with a handful of top-12 finishers. Webb School of Knoxville was ninth of 16 teams.
Brentwood Academy junior Luke Thompson won the solo title with a time of 15:16.09.
Knoxville Catholic standout sophomore Keegan Smith was fourth at 15:31.78. His Irish teammate Radek Molchan, a freshman, placed seventh in 15:44.50. Tony Ortega, a sophomore at Catholic, was 15th at 16:28.55.
Webb junior Collin Eckerman was 16th at 16:31.16.
DIVISION II-AA GIRLS
Webb School of Knoxville finished state runner-up to Harpeth Hall. The Lady Spartans from Knoxville placed three runners in the top 10, but Harpeth Halls’ finishes from their fourth- and fifth-slotted runners gave them the winning edge.
Harpeth Hall senior Bella Guillamondegui won the girls’ individual state championship with a time of 17:54.68.
Webb School of Knoxville junior Anna Graves was runner-up at 18:49.90. Webb freshman Calysta Garmer placed fourth at 19:06.38. Webb freshman Jazzlyn Garmer was 10th at 19:51.61.
Kaylee Estridge of Catholic placed 19th at 20:22.25. Her teammate Eileen Loebner finished in 20:29.22, which was good enough for 21st in a very difficult field.
Class A/AA BOYS
Signal Mountain won the boys’ championship. Elizabethton took fourth.
Creek Wood senior Jackson Martin won the individual title at 15:37.95.
Alcoa junior Sam Bridges proved to be the best area finisher, placing ninth at 17:04.45. South-Doyle senior Jayden Brabson took 16th in 17:17.23. Gibbs junior Will Spierdowis was 19th (17:19.78) and Elizabethton junior Max Garner 20th (17:20.61).
Class A/AA GIRLS
Tennessee High senior Zoe Arrington won with a time of 19:08.35.
Kaitlyn Fisher, a junior at Anderson County, was eighth at 20:08.19. Alcoa freshman Kacey Holliday claimed 10th at 20:08.88.
Signal Mountain won the girls’ championship. Alcoa was fifth and Anderson County was sixth.
Division II-A BOYS
The CAK boys nearly won a state championship but came up short to first-place University School of Nashville. Lakeway Christian finished in fifth place.
Donelson Christian Academy senior Drew Johnson set the winning pace at 16:19:47.
Joshua Cross, a junior at CAK, was fourth at 16:53.24. Ethan Coffey of CAK was seventh at 17:22.60. CAK senior Walker Douglass took 14th in 18:06.01.
Lakeway eighth-grader Ike Webb placed 25th (18:28.44).
Division II-A GIRLS
Abby Cheeseman, a sophomore from Webb Bell Buckle, won the state in Division II-A in 17:12.53.
Grace Christian senior Alyssa Johnson was eighth place at 21:09.56.
Westminster Academy claimed the girls’ team championship. Grace Christian took sixth.