On Sept. 9, 2021, a small portion of White County High School’s Cross Country Team attended The Meet in the Middle at the Webb School, in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, but all three represented the Warriors well, each of them posting new personal records.
“As a coach, that’s all you can ask for - do your best and compete,” White County coach Gregg Segraves said.
Segraves said some of the top cross country schools in the state, Brentwood Academy, Baylor School, McCallie School, Montgomery Bell Academy, Chattanooga Christian School, were their opponents. “Those kids are running 15-minute 5Ks, college times. So for our kids to go out and [beat their] personal record, I’m extremely proud of them.”
Evan Ferris led the Warriors’ contingent with a time of 19:56 coming in 65th out of the field of 116 runners.
“He’s getting back to good health and is finding his rhythm again,” Segraves said of the team’s leader for the meet.
Gabriel Wiles, a freshman and one of the team’s future leaders, posted a new time of 21:37 placing him 84th in the same field as Ferris.
“Gabriel Wiles continues to improve,” Segraves said of the team’s lone freshman to run in the meet. “He just gets better and better with each race. His work ethic and determinization is paying off.
On the girls’ side of the team, only McKenzie Tuck made the trip to Bell Buckle, but she made her representation for the Warriorette runners a strong one.
“This was her first meet in the 20s,” Segraves said of Tuck’s time of 28:52, which was fast enough to place her 68th. “She’s starting to run with confidence. I couldn’t be more proud of her performance and the way she finished the race in a dead sprint.”
Not attending the meet were Luci McKee, Poppy Shank, and Breanna Powell who had a schedule conflict as they are doing double time, playing as members of the White County Warriorette soccer team as well.
Additionally, both senior runners, Dean Limper and Abigail Welch, were not in attendance at the meet but hope to return to the lineup when the team travels to Cookeville, on Sept. 26.
“We missed their leadership and look forward to having them back in two weeks,” Segraves said of his missing seniors, but again expressed his pride and confidence in his young runners who were able to perform as though they were much older and more experienced than they are. “Congratulations to our Cross-Country team for their performance. I’m extremely proud of their performances at The Meet in the Middle.”