Hollingsworth places in top quarter at state meet
Although she was unable to reach the medal podium, Marshall County freshman Leah Hollingsworth turned in a solid performance at the Class A-AA Girls State Cross Country Meet by placing 42nd out of a 181 runners at Iroquois Steeplechase on Saturday morning.
After completing the five kilometer course at Iroquois Steeplechase in 21 minutes and 55 seconds nine days earlier en route to a second place finish in the Region 6-A-AA Meet, Hollingsworth was unable to replicate that effort in Saturday's chilly conditions and finished with a time of 22:10.
"It was a little overwhelming because there were so many other girls running and I wasn't used to it. I've never trained in these conditions so they affected me some, but I don't think it was that big of a factor," said Hollingsworth. "I think I performed well. I don't think it was my best run, but I'm happy with it."
Saturday's meet marked just the third time in 10 races that Hollingsworth has not finished among the top three runners this year. Marshall County coach Heather Denton hopes that Hollingsworth's success this season can help bring some notoriety to MCHS' fledgling program and help them add more runners to next year's team.
"I think she performed well. Leah pushed herself to the best of her ability and I'm proud of her. Having a runner make it to State is huge for our program. Hopefully it will help us build our team for next year," said Denton.
Murfreesboro Central Magnet's Taylor Cuneo took home the individual title, as the precocious freshman flew through the course in 18:57. Christian Academy of Knoxville's Rebecca Story finished nine seconds back of Cuneo and claimed second place with a time of 19:06, while Signal Mountain's Mallory Young (19:19) came in third. CAK's Taylor Cosey (19:40) placed fourth and Signal Mountain's Taylor Luthringer (20:13) finished fifth.
Trinity Christian's Brynne Lytle (20:15), Knoxville Catholic's Shila Kapaya (20:16), Murfreesboro Central Magnet's Claudia Smith (20:17), Huntingdon's Lydia Hayes (20:19), Knoxville Catholic's Rosa Cisneros (20:31), Columbia Academy's Kailey Schyler (20:33), Cannon County's Hannah Whited (20:34), Signal Mountain's Ale Diaz (20:38), Elizabethton's Maci Shell (20:40), and Signal Mountain's Becca Umbarger (20:43) also reached the medal stand and rounded out the rest of the top 15 runners in the competition.
Creek Wood's Riley Kilian was the only other Region 6-AA runner outside of Schyler to finish in the top 20, but narrowly missed earning a medal after placing 16th with a time of 20:47.
Signal Mountain was the class of the competition and took home the team championship by placing five runners in the top 22 of the individual standings. CAK also turned in a strong showing and came in second after having four runners in the top 26. Murfreesboro Central Magnet placed three runners in the top 20 and finished third.