Tonnos’ move to USA still helping Admirals

By Steve Williams

Matteo Tonnos and his family moved from Ontario, Canada to Knoxville in July of 2022 and four months later he helped Farragut’s boys cross country team win its first state championship since 2001.

Tonnos, now a senior, and Coach Chelsea Osborne’s Admirals will be trying to repeat that accomplishment this Thursday at the TSSAA state meet in Hendersonville.

Matteo has fallen in love with the Knoxville area in many ways.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “The sports opportunities. I love the religious culture here, it’s great. And yeah, I’ve just been loving it here. And an extra perk is it’s not freezing cold like it is in Canada. I hate the cold.”

Tonnos lived close to the Canada/USA border and about 20 minutes from Buffalo, N.Y.

He said he has been running cross country since he was in the third grade. He’s also on a club swim team, races in triathlons and cycles.

His dad’s work brought the family to the United States.

Tonnos and his veteran teammates were impressive winners in the Region 2 Class AAA meet last week at Victor Ashe Park, putting up a near-perfect 20 score. Hardin Valley (57) and West (100) also qualified for state, which again will be held at the Sanders Ferry Park course.

Tonnos also led the way individually as the Farragut harriers placed 1-2-3 at the finish line. Tonnos’ time over the 5,000 meters was 15:40.2. Senior teammates Braden Ebbert and Harrison Cunningham were clocked at 15:58.5 and 16:04.6, respectively.

Rounding out the Admirals’ top five were juniors Evan Beeler, who placed fifth, and Tanner Coggin, who came in ninth.

“We have a super strong team and just wanted to leave this race with a lot of confidence going into state, so that we can win (this) week and have a big post-season,” said Tonnos.

Coach Osborne said Brentwood also will be one of the top contenders at the state meet.

HVA junior Gabe Allen led the Hawks with his fourth place showing, while Bearden’s Cade Crum came in sixth to qualify individually.

Sophomore Nicholas Burke finished seventh to lead the West team.

Other local runners qualifying individually for state were Karns’ Rowen and Rylan Moser-Bryan.


L&N team and Gibbs’ Spierdowis make state

Sophomore Connor Arnold led L&N STEM Academy to third place and a state berth in Class A-AA. The Gryphons had a score of 88.

Also qualifying individually was Gibbs’ Will Spierdowis, who finished 11th.

Anderson County won the team title with a score of 41. Vance Laster, the runner-up in the individual competition, led the Mavericks. Alcoa (77) placed second.

Cumberland County’s Zachariah Ostrander crossed the finish line first in 16:15.3.


CAK’s Cross and Mansfield finish 1-2

Seniors Joshua Cross, who posted a winning time of 17:20.3, and Andrew Mansfield swept top individual honors for Christian Academy of Knoxville in the Division II-A East Region.

The Warriors’ team placed second and also qualified for the state with a 70 score.

Lakeway Christian (63) took top team honors and Clayton-Bradley Academy (88) placed third.