JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. — Sixth grade cross country sensation Cali Townsend continues to run circles around her “elders.”

Townsend ran the two-mile middle school race in Jonesborough for the Fender’s Farm Cross Country Carnival in 12:36.20 – 25 seconds ahead of second place Lorraine Rainie Hunter (12:51.20) of Liberty Bell Middle School on Sept. 18, at the Fenders Corn Maze. Townsend’s sister, Sydney Cate, was third in 12:55.30.

The Townsend sisters led Watauga in the High Country’s taking the team title among the 20 teams represented, but two other Watauga scoring athletes also finished in the top 5. Carrie Bradbury (13:01.80) finished at No. 4, Jane Beach-Verhey (13:03.20) was No. 5. Not too far behind at No. 12 was Lily Kimbrough, who was credited with No. 10 in the team scoring, in 13:35.10.

The field saw 218 girls competing. In addition to the the team’s top five scorers, the Pioneers had 12 other middle school girl harriers in the field, including Bailey Collins, Julian Martin, Lainey Johnston, Anna Norris, Savannah Moretz, Eliza Hickman, Sydney Moretz, Frances Davis, Sophia McEvoy, Emma Lehman, Ella Powell, Gianna Casco and Claire Nance.


Watauga’s middle school boys competed against a field of 280 athletes competing for 23 teams in the Fender’s Farm Cross Country Carnival 2021 — and showed well, placing in 4th as a team. Eighth grader Calvin Zwetslloot was the top Pioneer finisher, at No. 7, in 12:40.50 for the 3,200 meter run. Zwetslloot was just 20 seconds behind the race winner, seventh grader Adam Kelley of Liberty Bell Middle School.

Also scoring for Watauga was Grady Gates (No. 34, 13:51.20), Silas Powell (No. 73, 15:04.50) and Cameron Nance (No. 75, 15:05.90).

Watauga had several other runners competing, including Elijah Healy, Remy Steinheber and A J McAulay.

Liberty Bell, Robinson and Lakeway Christian finished ahead of Watauga in the team competition.

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