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Signal Mountain continues to dominate on the cross country trail.

For the fourth straight season and seventh time in eight years, the Lady Eagles won the TSSAA Division I Small Class state championship, while the boys' team won its second straight title Thursday at Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville.

Including the Signal Mountain girls' soccer team winning a state championship earlier this week, the school now has 34 overall titles since opening in 2009.

Kelsey Thompson was second overall in the girls' race with a time of 20:14 on the 5k (3.1-mile) route.

In the boys' race, Sequatchie County's Grayson Kennedy (16:21) was second with teammate Carter Bradford (16:37) fifth.

Signal Mountain had six all-state finishers, including Joshua Pote (16:31), who was third overall in the boys' race.

"Both of our teams made history today. Our girls' team score of 37 was a new program record," coach Dustin Carpenter said. "We have a phenomenal group of seniors on both teams, and they really helped this team stay focused and set their eyes on the prize.

"Kelsey ran through the state meet with a torn ACL last year, and she is one of the most talented female runners I have ever coached. Joshua was unbelievable and showed great focus. He is just a freshman, but he ran so relaxed and just tracked people down all the way to the finish. Our boys' team proved last year was no fluke. Seniors Cole (Underwood) and Max (Sewell) helped this group believe they are champions."

Other all-state performers for Signal Mountain were Sophia Gibby (20:32, fifth) and Gracen Glover (20:40, sixth) for the girls and Underwood (17:11, 11th) and Sewell (17:33, 15th) for the boys.

Sequatchie's girls finished fourth as Jillyen Givens (21:10, ninth) and Anna Kate Tibbs (21:19, 13th) had all-state performances.

Cleveland's Ryan Lovelace (16:27) placed 16th in the Large Class boys' race earlier Thursday. In the girls' race, Soddy-Daisy's Katilee Croft (20:11) was 52nd.

 

FOOTBALL

Gordon Lee 14, B.E.S.T. Academy 8: Bo Rhudy and Cade Peterson ran for touchdowns as the Trojans won in Atlanta to improve to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in Region 6-A public. Thursday's win moves Gordon Lee ahead of B.E.S.T. (4-3, 2-1) into second place in the region, one game behind Bowdon.

 

VOLLEYBALL

Gordon Lee and Northwest Whitfield have already achieved historic seasons, and each will try to win the ultimate prize in GHSA volleyball Saturday at Lakeshore Sports Complex in Cartersville.

Northwest (35-10) will face private school power Marist (18-8) in the Class AAAA title match at 2:30 p.m., while Gordon Lee (37-11) also goes against an Atlanta private school, Pace Academy (21-7), at noon in the Class AA/A title match. The challenge for both local programs is steep as Marist has won six state titles and Pace the past three in Class AAA before moving down.

"We are fully aware of the impressive history of Marist, their program and their current volleyball talents," Northwest coach Kelsey Ikerd said. "Our biggest focus right now is honing our skills, amplifying our strengths and improving our weaknesses. What I don't think many people realize is that we are an extremely talented team, too. We haven't made it this far by accident."

Said Gordon Lee coach Adam Crowley: "Pace will provide a huge mental challenge for this team. It's not that we have to play better. We have to mentally play well and not let who they are get in front of what we do."

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com and follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon. Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com and follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

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