By Steve Williams
A journey that started in June was completed with a state record sixth consecutive TSSAA cross country championship on Nov. 4 for the Webb School girls’ team.
All five Lady Spartans also reached their goal of finishing in the Top 15 individually and earning all-state honors.
Juniors Niki Narayani and Lindsay Holliday led the way by placing second and third in the Division II-A event held at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Course in Nashville.
Narayani was timed in 18 minutes, 46.87 seconds over the 5K distance.
Rebecca Story of Christian Academy of Knoxville won the race in 18:11.16 to end her prep cross country career with a second straight state crown.
“Our girls’ team showed great dedication by running twice a week starting at 6 a.m. and averaging about 45 miles a week,” said Bobby Holcombe, who is in his fourth season as head coach at Webb.
Holcombe said Narayani and Holliday “stepped up big” by getting into the Top 5 this season.
Senior Elizabeth Moore placed ninth, sophomore Kamryn Krishnan 12th and junior Taylor Repine 15th to complete Webb’s top five finishers, which accounted for the team’s score. Teammates Caroline Ross, a junior, and Stephani Franks, a sophomore, came in 16th and 24th, respectively.
Webb senior Carter Coughlin won the boys’ race with a time of 15:47.10 for his third state title in a row and moved into a four-way tie for most state individual cross country championships in TSSAA history.
“Carter has officially broken all the school (distance) records,” said Coach Holcombe.
Coughlin and Story now have their sights set on the Foot Locker South Region meet, which will be held Thanksgiving weekend in Charlotte.
In other highlights involving local runners included a state title performance by L&N STEM Academy’s Seth Jinks in the Small Schools division. Jinks ran a 17:09.90 to lead the L&N boys’ team to second-place honors.
Catholic’s Jake Renfree placed fourth and Devin Sullivan eighth in the Large Schools division as the Irishmen came in second behind Siegel.
In Division II-A boys, Grace Christian Academy senior Brent Borden placed fifth individually and the Webb boys’ team was fourth.
Farragut senior Anna Delahunt placed fifth and Catholic senior Shila Kapaya sixth in the girls’ Large Schools division, while Hardin Valley came in sixth and Farragut seventh in team scoring.
L&N’s girls took fourth place among Small Schools, with senior Brooke Foster’s eighth place finish leading the way.