Girls Third, Boys Fourth at State Championship
On a cool but beautiful day at the Steeplechase in Nashville, Ravenwood's cross country teams took to the course against the best teams from across the state. The girls raced first, with freshman Annika Sleenhof leading the way again. After sitting at the back of the lead pack for two miles, Annika surged to the front and took a commanding 15m lead with roughly 1000m to go. Morristown West's Cherie Wilson mounted a furious charge over the last 600m to edge Sleenhof for the individual title, but Annika's 18:33 was the fastest time of the day for any midstate runner and is the fastest time every recorded by a Lady Raptor on the tough Steeplechase course. Sophomore Addison White had a great day, finishing second for Ravenwood, with Julia Henderson, Hailey Erickson, and Olivia Kuban crossing the line all within nine seconds of each other. Sabrina Florey and Olivia Hetherington were sixth and seventh for the Lady Raptors. Annika's All-State effort and the 2-5 pack helped the girls upset crosstown rival Brentwood by 35 points and finish third, five places better than in 2013.
The boys were next up. Boasting some very fast times up front, the field got off to a surprisingly slow start. This played right into the hands of senior captain Matt Rainey, one of the best 800m runners in the state. He was in 14th place at the 2 mile mark, but stormed past 7 runners over the last mile to claim 7th, the best finish for a Raptor since Conley Chitwood's 4th place showing in 2011. Fellow captain Richard Guiry also ran a perfect tactical race, passing dozens of runners over the last half to finish 17th, just missing All-State. Seniors Jack Strevell, Austin Chitwood, and Garrett Statum rounded out the scoring with Jack Dang and Nathan Tidwell running 6th and 7th as the boys finished fourth in a stout field.
After running virtually non-stop from June-October, these dedicated runners will take Monday off.