Lady 'Clones' first try in state meet sees solid results

Photo by Jeff Birchfield
Kendra Perkins runs for the Lady Cyclones on Saturday.

  NASHVILLE -- The Elizabethton High School girls' cross country team made their first appearance in the TSSAA Class A-AA state meet a memorable one, placing 12th out of the 23 squads.
  Regina Basconi topped the individual charts finishing 19th overall with a time of 20:35 seconds. Courtney Towle ranked 34th with a time of 21:34 with Lindesy McAmis eight seconds in arears at 21:42.
  Laura Bowman's 25:34 and Kendra Perkins at 26:01 rounded out the efforts for a team comprised of five sophomores and one junior.
  "Just to qualify for the state for us was huge," said Elizabethton head coach Jim Presnell. "Maybe in a couple of years, we will be nervous about whether we can win the state as a team."
  There is plenty of inspiration for the Lady Cyclones to achieve that goal as the boys' team won a state championship in the race following this one.
  Overall, the Lady Cyclones were scored 293 points. They weren't the only local team involved in the action. Sullivan Central finished fourth in the state meet and Johnson City's University High came in seventh.
  In the individual category, Happy Valley runner Ashley Flynn had a good showing at 21st. She registered a time of 20:37.
  Statewide, the team trophy went to David Lipscomb with 64 points. Chattanooga Christian placed second with 97 points and Walker Valley rounded out the top three.
  The individual category had Ashtin Serna from Creekwood win with a time of 18:34. Sullivan Central's Katye Stone easily fared best among our local runners as the 18:58.49 she posted was good for second place. Lipscomb's Kara Sephel took the other podium spot.
  Presnell expressed pride in how well his young team competed its first time on the steeplechase course at Percy Warner Park.
  "The girls' team works just as hard as the boys," he said. "We just need a few more girls to be on the team to compete for the state title. They just have to know they will have to work. If you are in it for the glory, you are in the wrong sport."
  Maybe so, but Saturday proved both a historic day for the Elizabethton High School cross country program.