The Chattanooga area should be well represented at the TSSAA cross country state championships Saturday at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.
With a forecast for clear skies and temperatures in the low 50s, several local runners and teams look capable of taking top spots in the 5-kilometer races.
McCallie and the Baylor and Signal Mountain girls have strong shots to finish first in their respective team races.
McCallie's Blue Tornado are led by seniors John Arrowsmith (16:04 PR), Dylan Zeller (16:13), Samuel Ligon (16:14) and Duke Richey (16:23). Their three fastest times rank in the top six of Division II, according to athletic.net.
Meanwhile, Lady Red Raiders freshman Helen Webb and seniors Emmy Davis and Hannah Rosser all have sub-20 5k times. Webb's best finish of 18:59.9 is the fourth fastest in Division II.
The Signal Mountain girls are well-rounded with five runners in the Division I Small Class's top 11 fastest times. Tara Jessen (20:25) looks to build off a third-place finish last year.
Chattanooga Christian's Edimo Ninterestse and Sequatchie County's Grayson Kennedy are boys' individual champion hopefuls after leading the Division II and Small classifications, respectively. Ninterestse ran a 15:50 with Kennedy crossing at 16:14 in the city championship Front Runner Invitational on Oct. 17.
Sequatchie's Emma Bradford also leads her classification with a time of 20:15.
The fastest runner in the city is Chase Faudi. The Chattanooga Patriots' home-school athlete won the city championship with a time of 15:26.
Cleveland sophomore Ryan Lovelace (16:31) and McCallie junior Benjamin Niehaus (16:40) are budding talents, while Signal Mountain's duo of Colton Underwood and Austin Wingfield also have run 5ks in under 17 minutes.
There will be 122 area runners in Saturday's races. The Hixson girls will make their first appearance as a team, coach Daryl Galyon said.
TSSAA Cross Country Races
Saturday in Nashville (All times EDT)
Large Class girls, 11 a.m.
Large Class boys, 11:45 a.m.
Division II-A girls, 12:30 p.m.
Division II-A boys, 1:05 p.m.
Division II-AA girls, 1:40 p.m.
Division II-AA boys, 2:15 p.m.
Small Class girls, 2:50 p.m.
Small Class boys, 3:35 p.m.