The Campbell County elementary and middle school cross-country teams opened the season last week at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville.
Around 1,200 runners competed. This year, the Campbell County team is the biggest its ever been, with 41 young people out running every day.
In the elementary boy’s division, three Campbell County runners finished among the top 20 in a field of over 300.
Top finishers for the Cougars were Blake Kibler (7th with a time of 6:15), Eric Phillips (15th with a time of 6:31) and Timmy Zupancic (18th with a time of 6:50).
Others running for the Cougars were Riley Faulkner (7:00), Ty Seiber (8:30), Connor Baird (8:39), Nick Phillips (9:00) and Ethan Cox (8:15).
In the elementary girl’s division, five Campbell County runners competed in the 1-mile event. Lindsay Horton placed 9th overall with a time of 7:01. The others and their times included Madison Burris (9:37), Lara Gunter (9:50), Chloe Wright (10:44) and Kayla Davis (14:33).
In the middle school boy’s division, the Cougars fielded an incomplete team due to Devan Love’s injury, but four boys still competed. There were 297 runners in this race.
Out front for the Cougars was Andrew Evans (74th), who finished the 2-plus mile course with a time of 15:56.72. Toby Jones ran the race in 18:18.92, followed by Andrew Prim (19:41:59) and newcomer Matthew Stogsdill (20:11.02).
In the middle school girl’s division, Campbell County fielded its largest team ever, with 21 girls competing from both Jacksboro and LaFollette. There were 198 runners in this event.
Scoring for the Campbell County ladies were Katelyn Goins (12th with a time of 16:14.84), Gracie Faulkner (17th with a time of 16:35.82), Kelsey Williams (19th with a time of 16:48.21), Taylor Love (48th with a time of 18:12.99) and Brooke Bane (58th with a time of 18:49.51). The Campbell County top 5 were closely followed by Carlie Love (58th with a time of 18:51.21), Kendra King (65th with a time of 19:15.72) and Olivia Brown (73rd with a time of 19:46.67).
Other Campbell County girls competing at Victor Ashe included Kasi Phillips (21:15.51), Aubree Cahill (22:30.61), Tavia Moore (22:39.98), Rachel Blackwell (22:51.25), Morgan Wilson (24:53.57), Hayley Bates (25:02.53), Stacy Morton (26:00.23), Taylor Wilson (26:02.75), Amber Finkebine (26:44.88), Bella Luna (27:38.36), Chloe Cox (30:35.66), Caitlin Davis (30:30.16) and Sydney McCreary (31:54.15).
“We have several kids who only joined the team a couple of weeks ago — Matthew Stogsdill, Kasi Phillips, Amber Finkenbine and Bella Luna. For them to come out and compete the way they did is just tremendous,” said Campbell County coach Ann Browning.
“I look for them all to continue to improve over the course of our season.”