Almost 30 middle school and high school runners represented White County at the race. The middle school boys’ 2-mile course had 42 runners, and the girls’ had 34 entries. The high school boys’ 5000-meter course (3.1 miles) had 115 entrants, and the high school girls’ 5000-meter run had 90 runners. Race sponsors awarded plaques to the top two teams in each division and medals to the top 10 finishers per event.
The WCMS boys took second place out of the five teams in their division, with a score of 56. This is the first team award WCMS boys have earned in several years. They had three finishers who won medals: Jackson Burch finished third with a time of 13:07, Tyler Hernandez finished fifth at 13:13, and Lane Rodgers finished ninth at 14:23. Landon Fults, Luke Benson, Hayden Blankenship, and Colten Ballew finished out the middle school boys team. Jackson Burch, Tyler Hernandez, Lane Rodgers, Landon Fults, and Colten Ballew each posted a new season-best time, according to MileSplit.
The WCMS girls only had four runners because of a conflict with the volleyball schedule. Hannah Rabchenia won a medal for her fourth-place finish at 15:10. Addison Henry, Jubilee Kugler, and Paige Savage also finished for WCMS. According to MileSplit, all four girls set season-best times.
The WCHS girls had seven runners and finished 10th in a strong 11-team field. Emma Nash was the first WCHS finisher and 19th overall at 24:33. In order of their finish, the other WCHS girls were Harley Johnston, Luci McKee, Briley Sims, Breanna Powell, Poppy Shank, and Zoey Clemons. Emma Sims set a personal record. Luci McKee and Poppy Shank posted season-best times.
The WCHS boys finished ninth out of 10 teams but had seven runners under 25 minutes: Gabriel Wiles led with a 14th-place finish overall and a time of 19:15, Ashton Randolph finished at 21:06, Joel Green at 21:23, Kaden Kimmons at 22:28, Blake Cravens at 23:21, Mason LaLonde at 24:00, and Colton Courtney at 24:56. Hunter Rigsby, Chase Lewis, and Lincoln Kugler also finished for WCHS. Ashton Randolph, Joel Greene, Blake Cravens, Mason LaLonde, and Lincoln Kugler all posted personal records. Gabriel Wiles posted a season-best time.
The WCHS cross-country boys and girls next competed at the MSCCA Voyles Classic. The race honors White County cross-country standout and WCHS 5000-meter record holder Markie Voyles, who passed away in 2008. Markie would have graduated with the WCHS Class of 2009. The race took a brief hiatus during COVID. The event regularly draws around 1,000 runners from across the mid-state. There were over 1,000 runners registered to participate, on Sept. 9, 2023.
The WCHS boys all competed in the varsity race. They finished 44th out of 53 teams, with an average time of 21:22 for the 3.1-mile course. Gabriel Wiles led the Warriors at 18:55.20, finishing 155th overall out of 476 runners representing 70 high schools. Kaden Kimmins finished next for WCHS at 21:00.60. Ashton Randolph at 21:13.30 and Joel Greene at 21:21.30 were next for White County. Mason LaLonde finished out the five scoring runners with a time of 23:31.40. Blake Cravens and Colton Courtney were the sixth and seventh finishers for the Warriors, scoring as pushers who raised the opposing teams’ scores by finishing ahead of about 50 runners from other teams. Chase Lewis finished at 24:38.20, giving the Warriors a season’s best eight finishers under 25 minutes. Hunter Rigsby just missed the 25-minute mark, finishing at 25:12.90. Abram Lawson rounded out the squad at 28:03.10. Joel Greene, Mason LaLonde, Colton Courtney, and Chase Lewis all set personal records. Gabriel Wiles and Kayden Kimmons posted season-best times.
The WCHS girls did not compete for team rankings, dividing their runners between the varsity and junior Varsity races. Emma Nash and Harley Johnston competed in a strong varsity field of 328 runners. Emma finished 165th overall, with a time of 24:43.10, and Harley finished at 30:33.30. Breanna Powell, Luci McKee, Poppy Shank, and Zoey Clemons competed in the junior varsity race. Powell finished 107th out of 141 runners, with a time of 33:22.40, followed by McKee at 35:09.70, Shank at 36:52.80, and Clemons at 38:59.30. Powell, McKee, Shank, and Clemons all posted season-best times.
To understand what these athletes are accomplishing, Gabriel Wiles’ time at the Voyles Classic of 18:55.20 means he averaged six minutes and six seconds per mile for over three miles. That is running about 10 miles per hour. In a society where many individuals struggle to run 100 meters, roughly the length of a football field, these athletes run 50 times that distance. A study by Run Repeat of over 34 million race results shows that the average time to run a 5000-meter race is 35 minutes. Another study by Pace Calculator used 10,000 5K race results in the U.S. in 2010 to determine that the average pace in a 5K race is 11:47 per mile. This pace would make the average finish time 36:37.
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