BY JESSE SMITHEY
The Farragut High School boys cross-country team likely heard the footsteps from Brentwood High’s squad.
But the Admirals didn’t let that faze them.
Four runners from the Farragut boys team finished eighth or better Thursday in the TSSAA’s Class AAA state championship meet, and that proved enough to hold off hard-charging Brentwood for the state title.
The win marked the second consecutive Class AAA state championship for the Admirals, who — last year — had ended a 21-year, state-title drought for the program. Their victory Thursday was the program’s fifth overall.
Brentwood was no surprise contender.
Farragut knew they’d be in the mix. Brentwood finished third in 2022 and four of their top-five finishers from the 2022 state meet returned to try and track down the Admirals this fall.
But Farragut’s best were up to the challenge.
Farragut senior Matteo Tonnos finished second overall, posting a time of 15:01.47. That was just 0.72 seconds behind winner Miles Ramer of Ravenwood.
Teammates Braden Ebbert (fifth, 15:34.48), Harris Cunningham (seventh, 15:44.50) and Evan Beeler (eighth, 15:44.62) helped position their team for the win. Tanner Coggin, a junior at Farragut, rounded out the team scoring by finishing 28th at 16:25.50.
The Admirals finished with 41 points. Brentwood had 67 and third-place Independence had 131.
Hardin Valley finished eighth, Jefferson County 11th and Maryville 15th.
Joshua Cross wins gold in Division II-A Boys
The CAK boys’ cross country team finished third in the Division II-A meet, but CAK senior Joshua Cross cruised to an individual state title in 16:33.03 — some 14.84 seconds better than runner-up Ty Withrow of Columbia Academy.
Columbia Academy won the meet with 31 points. University School of Nashville was second (76 points) and CAK third (92).
CAK junior Andrew Mansfield was ninth (17:13.26).
Lakeway Christian freshman Gideon Vance (17:23.60) placed 14th.
Hardin Valley girls claim silver in Class AAA meet
Emma Cissna, a freshman at Hardin Valley Academy, finished fourth Thursday in the Class AAA girls meet.
That, coupled with senior Maddie Archdale’s ninth-place showing, helped the Lady Hawks wind up in second place behind winner Brentwood. HVA freshman Alexandra Vesser’s 13th-place finish aided in the cause, as well.
Cissom’s time on the course was 18:11.43 and Archdale’s 18:43.38.
West senior Kate Robinson posted a time of 18:30.65 to finish sixth, individually.
Karns senior Rylee Gifford finished 10th in 18:46.12.
Farragut’s girls’ team finished 10th. Maryville was 12th.
Division II-A girls
Webb-Bell Buckle won the 2023 Division II-A girls state crown.
Grace Christian (Knoxville) was eighth, led by sophomore Adeline Kose’s 32nd-place finish.