BOONE — Watauga’s young boys cross country team ran into a veritable buzz saw in the Fire Tower Project 5K at State Farm Fields on Sept. 17, but several of the Pioneer harriers bettered their previous best times with the competition.
Farragut High School of Knoxville swept the first nine places before Watauga’s Ethan Cannon (17:07.70), Micah Rushin (17:12.99), and Wesley Coatney (17:31.45) captured No. 10, No. 11, and No. 13, respectively.
Trevor Coggin of Farragut took first place honors in 15:46.55.
The Pioneers’ Will Bradbury, a freshman, crossed the line at No. 16 in 17:41.39, and sophomore Collin Anderson was right behind at No. 17, in 17:51.28 to complete Watauga’s team scoring. A total of 50 athletes competed in the boys division.
Other Pioneers competing included Jonah Norris, Davis Crymes, Roman Sibaja, Axel Albu, Alex Gremmell, Sam Nixon, Sam Rex, David Hengst, Dury Womak, Miles Page, Jakob Crosswell, Owen Canu, Kade Maiden, Sebastian Afanador, Jacob Hollis, Riley Huddleston, Sam Vandenberg, Sam Broman Fulks, Sam Nystrom, Owen Tincher, Charles Langley and Sullivan Trexler.
Led by Rachel Cathey (No. 3, 19:02.62) and Gwendolyn Anderson (No. 4, 19.07.74), Watauga’s distaff harriers team placed seven of the top 13 in the Fire Tower Project 5K at the State Farm fields.
Also scoring for Watauga was Sophie Beach (No. 8, 19:57.83), Ava Curtis (No. 9, 20:10.06) and Andriana Rink (No. 11, 20:16.96). Brianna Anderson (No. 12, 20:23.01) and Moriah Bollman (No. 13, 20:24.46) were close behind.
Also running for Watauga were Maddie Bollman, Ella Triplett, Janie Soucek, Ellary Smith, Caroline Beach-Verhay, Sadie Buchanan, Sullivan McAulay, Kara Schneider, Julia Mawhinney, Karla Ruiz, Madelyn Trexler, Viovi Rushing, Alexandra Newmark, Ashlee Moreno, Anna-Magdalena Rundell, Abi Pitts, Korbel Cook and Emma Bunn.
“Farragut is a very good cross country team,” said Pioneer head coach Randy McDonough after the race. “In terms of scoring, they beat us, but I am very proud that so many of our runners improved on the their personal bests.”