McCallie's cross country dynasty keeps on running.
The Blue Tornado were dominant on the way to winning their third straight Division II-AA title — and the eighth TSSAA team state championship in program history — on Friday at Hendersonville's Sanders Ferry Park.
Coach Mike Wood's top five runners sailed through the 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) course at the state meet with an average time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds to finish with a team score of 54, which was 15 points better than runner-up Brentwood Academy.
McCallie's top finisher was sophomore Evan Simpson (15:59.98), who was fourth overall at state for the second straight year but improved upon his 2020 time by more than half a minute. The other scoring runners for the Blue Tornado were freshman Jack Bowen (16:07.37, ninth) and juniors Hugh Carlson (16:12.98, 11th), Grady Outlaw (16:26.35, 13th) and Nate Armstrong (16:37.35, 17th).
The Blue Tornado won their first TSSAA team state title in the sport in 2001 and added championships in 2005-06 and 2012-13 before beginning their current streak.
In Class A/AA, after two straight seasons sweeping the team titles, Signal Mountain's boys' and girls' were both runners-up to Murfreesboro Central Magnet, and by a slim margin in each case. MCM's girls won by three points, with the boys winning by two.
The top finisher for Signal Mountain's boys was sophomore Joshua Pote (16:16.44, seventh), while the first Lady Eagles runner across the line was freshman Maxine Richards (19:19.62, fifth), with junior teammate Kelsey Thompson (19:57.38) five places behind her.
In the DII-AA girls' meet, Baylor's Addi Greene (18:34.60) made a bold debut at state as the star freshman was second only to Harpeth Hall's Bella Guillamondegui (18:22.80). Greene's junior teammate Helen Webb (19:20.00) was sixth.
Girls Preparatory School, which entered as the reigning state champion, wound up third with 70 points, behind Harpeth Hall (69) and Knoxville Webb (73) but ahead of fourth-place Baylor (89). The top three finishers for GPS placed 10th through 12th overall, with Mariah Ivery (19:44.20) followed by fellow freshmen Frances Bohner (19:51.30) and Gilly Shumate (19:55.30).
In the DII-AA boys' meet, Baylor sophomore Garrison Corley (16:04.81, sixth) paced the sixth-place Red Raiders.
Friday's competition, which included DII-A, followed Thursday's AAA races at the same site. The fastest times at state this year belonged to sophomore Miles Ramer (15:10.35) of AAA's Ravenwood among the boys and freshman Abby Faith Cheeseman (17:26.91) of DII-A's Bell Buckle Webb among the girls. Class AAA champion Hardin Valley Academy's average scoring runner time of 16:06 was the fastest on the boys' side, while Brentwood's girls' averaged a state-best 19:12.