EHS best in boys field at Boone
By Tim Chambers
The Elizabethton boys cross country team and Coca-Cola have one thing in common. Both are the real thing.
Placing three runners in the top 10 of a 166 entry field, the Cyclones took home first place at the 32nd annual Trailblazer Cross Country Invitational held Thursday at Daniel Boone High School.
"It wouldn't surprise me to see this group win it all," Tennessee High teacher and former Hampton standout Mark Grindstaff said of the Cyclones. "They have all the ingredients needed to win a state championship."
Elizabethton tallied 77 points to take the gold, while Patrick Henry (Va.) finished second.
"This team did about all they could do today," said Cyclone cross country coach Jim Presnell.
Josh Jaynes shook the field with a fifth-place finish (16:25:58) while running with a hand injury caused from a Sunday automobile accident.
"My legs felt good but my hand was hurting quite a bit," Jaynes said. "Overall, it was my fastest time here. It felt great to win the team championship."
Adam Green put on a brilliant performance, earning sixth place (16:29:54) after falling to the ground in the race.
"I did everything I could do to get back up," Green said. "I just wanted to do my best for the team."
"Josh and Adam were warriors," stated Presnell. "To see them give that kind of effort the way they were hurting is very pleasing. I thought David McDaniel had an outstanding run."
McDaniel crossed the finish line at 16:38:25, good enough for an eighth-place finish.
"I felt strong the last mile and had a good kick left," McDaniel said. "I am more happy about our team's finish."
Corey Henson helped the cause by earning a 24th-place showing on the day, while the duo of Caleb McDaniel and Joseph Basconi were 38th and 42nd, respectively, finishing well in the upper division of the field.
"I still need to keep working on trying to improve," said Henson. "But winning as a team felt awesome."
"This course is much slower than the one at the state tournament," added Caleb McDaniel. "If we had run these times at the state last year, we could have been state champs."
Ryan Green came in at 54th.
"Caleb and Basconi picked it up in the fifth and sixth slots," Presnell said. "This is the way you've got to run to have a shot at winning a championship of any kind."
Last week the Cyclone went to Furman and defeated Science Hill and many others. 'Betsy was the leader among Tennessee squads, competing against some of the top teams in the nation.
"We had two good weeks," Presnell said. "We'll need it going into the championship meets."
Photo by John Bryant
Elizabethton’s Courtney Towle (242), Regina Basconi (237) and Lindsey McAmis come off the starting line.
Regina Basconi turned in a banner performance for the Lady Cyclones, finishing eighth with a time of 20:01:28.
"That's the fastest time we have ever had run at Elizabethton," Presnell said. "I was really proud of her."
Lindsey McAmis and Courtney Towle finished 42nd and 43rd, respectively, for the Cyclones.
Happy Valley got a fine showing from Ashley Flynn. The senior leader for the Lady Warriors finished 17th with a time of 20:41:89, and teammate Shanna Raines came in 37th.
Each team will take part in the conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Sullivan North High School beginning at 5 p.m.