BOONE — Watauga’s Avery Cannon and Ethan Turner were the top two finishers in the senior boys’ division of the Pioneer Clash of the Classes, which was held Aug. 17 at Watauga’s cross-country course.
The event was not counted by the NCHSAA as an official meet, so it was considered a scrimmage for the 28 teams that participated. Teams from Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina ran in the two-mile event.
Cannon finished with a time of 10 minutes, 20 seconds, while Turner finished with a time of 10:52. Watauga also got a sixth-place finish from Caleb Coatney, who clocked a time of 10:57 and Caleb Cox, who finished ninth and turned in a time of 11:14.
“(Cannon) looked really good,” Watauga coach Randy McDonough said. “He was followed in by Ethan Turner, who is recovering from an injury. I thought despite that he looked pretty good.”
In the senior girls’ division, Watauga’s Riley Fowler was seventh with a time of 13:21, while teammate Rebecca Anderson was eighth with a time of 13:24. Returning Watauga senior Sophia Ritter did not run in the event because she was out of town.
Olivia McAnulty was the fastest Watauga runner in the junior girls’ division. She finished fifth with a time 13:25, while teammate Isabelle Broman-fulks was seventh with a time of 13:42.
The Pioneers’ Korben Anderson finished sixth in the junior boys’ division with a time of 11:11. Rien Freeman was seventh with a time of 11:17 and Asa Marcus was 11th with a time of 11:58.
Watauga’s Gavin Sweeney led most of the sophomore boys’ race, but was caught from behind and finished third with a time of 11:01. Sweeney’s teammate, Ethan Cannon, was fourth with a time of 11:49.
“He looked good for most of the race,” McDonough said of Sweeney. “He had trouble at the end of the race.”
Watauga’s Sidra Miller was fifth in the sophomore girls’ division with a time of 13:42 and Sophie Beach was eighth with a time of 14:10.
Watauga got a fourth-place finish from Gwendolyn Anderson, who finished with a time of 13:28 in the girls’ freshman division. Breanna Anderson was 12th and Laurel Kiker was 14th for the Pioneers.
Watauga’s Will Curtis was seventh in the boys’ freshman race with a time of 12:28. Josh Hamilton was 11th with a time of 13:06.
Will Bradbury placed fourth in the middle school division with a time of 13:42. Colin Anderson was fifth with a 13:45, while Sam Nystrom was 10th overall with a time of 17:28. Ava Curtis was the first girl to cross the finish line in the middle school classification with a time of 16:11.
McDonough said a hard week of practice leading up to the event took its toll on the varsity runners.
“I told them that’s going to happen early in the season,” he said. “We’ll get to some races where we’ll make their legs a little fresher, but right now we want them a little tired.”