published Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Baylor duo win at PowerAde Invitational at Moccasin Bend

Baylor's Grace Carlson leads the race during the Powerade Invitational Cross Country Meet Saturday at Moccasin Bend. Carlson finished the race in first.
Baylor's Grace Carlson leads the race during the Powerade Invitational Cross Country Meet Saturday at Moccasin Bend. Carlson finished the race in first.
Photo by Allison Love /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Grace Carlson and Simon Holden ran Saturday at the PowerAde Invitational at Moccasin Bend like people were chasing them. And the two Baylor School standouts couldn't be caught -- at least in time.

Baylor's girls also earned a team victory and Baylor's boys were second to Dobyns-Bennett in the meet hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The Lady Red Raiders had three top-10 finishes even without Ruthie Townsend, who was taking the ACT, and Haley Chandler, who dropped out during the race.

Chandler led at the one-mile mark, but freshman Carlson was able to overtake her in the second mile. From that point on, she was in control and ran to a 42-second win over Dobyns-Bennett's Alex Zimmerman. Carlson completed the five-kilometer event in 20 minutes, 17.14 seconds.

Northwest Whitfield's Shelby Wilson was third in 21:04.89, and GPS's Lucy Whitfield was fifth in 21:09.06.

"My goal coming in was to have fun," Carlson said. "Coach [Heather Ott] told us to have fun and see what happens. I spent a lot of time running alone, and that's hard. It's much easier running with people because you have someone to talk to. I sometimes talk to myself, just to encourage."

Holden won in 16:12.69, defeating Bradley Central's Harold Smith by almost eight seconds. Holden was able to pull away in the final stretch but was disappointed he couldn't match his time of 16:04 in last year's meet.

Northwest Whitfield's Brody Cook finished fifth at 17:22.93.

"I really wanted to break 16 minutes, but I'm OK with the win. I thought I ran well," Holden said. "I had a good rhythm; I just wish I had hit my sprint a little sooner."

Smith shaved 12 seconds off his 2011 time at the PowerAde.

"I wanted to go out strong and end strong," he said. "I like running against Simon; he's a good competitor and has good sportsmanship.

"Running against him gives me a good challenge to compete against."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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