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University School


Coach: Ms. Maggie Whitson


Cross Country

Congratulations to the ladies and gentlemen of the High School Cross Country teams for their excellent performance at the State Championships.

The Girl's Team was able to lock in a runners up title improving their finish by 1 spot from last season.  Leading the way and becoming part of the All State Team was senior Ali Burns, followed by Isabelle Johnson who also received All State honors, Anna Bader, Camila Rivas, Anna Davidson and Kirsten Day.

The Boys Team was able to return to the podium as the State Champions for two years in a row!!!!  Leading the way for the boys was Porter Bradley who finished 2nd to secure an All States honor, Blake Ryan who also finished All State, Hayden Charles, Nick Daniel, Thomas Johnson, Brant Hare and Bracken Burns.

A big Thank You for those other members of the team who made the trip to help get the varsity teams to the podiums.  Congratulations runners on an amazing season filled with many amazing accomplishments!

The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

High school cross country
University High brings home second straight team title
Tanner Cook • Updated Nov 3, 2018 at 9:06 PM

NASHVILLE — The University High cross country team is bringing home some new hardware to add to the trophy case as the boys team successfully defended the state title while the girls finished runner-up on Saturday morning at the TSSAA state championships at Percy Warner Park.


UH senior Porter Bradley finished his senior campaign as a runner-up in 16:42.

Bradley took a big gamble by taking the lead on the second inner loop and looked good going into the final outer loop.

However, lurking back in the field was the state champion in the 800 meters in the spring: Emerson Fulton of Gatlinburg-Pittman. Fulton was in third going into the outer loop, but was well within striking distance.

Coming down the final stretch, it was Bradley, Fulton and Alex Ponce of Merrol Hyde Magnet running three-wide into the last 200 meters. Fulton's speed proved to be superior as he pulled away in the dying seconds of the race to win by just over a second and a half in 16:41.

"I'm really happy with my race," Bradley said. "I gave it everything I had, and I'm glad I get to go out like that my final race of senior year. I wanted it so bad in the last 200. I really couldn't feel my legs after that and I knew it was going to hurt, but the pain would be worth it."

Blake Ryan — running the last parts of the season with a stress fracture in his leg — finished fifth in 17:29 for an all-state medal.

"I couldn't be more proud of our boys," University head coach Maggie Whitson said. "They raced hard. Porter raced from the gun and ran with something to prove. Our three, four, five, six and seven all stepped up to help defend that state title."

Dillon Messermore of Chuckey-Doak was also an all-state finisher in 14th, crossing the line in 18:05.

Hayden Charles and Nick Daniel finished 26th and 27th respectively while Thomas Johnson rounded out the scoring for UH with a 32nd-place finish.

The Bucs won with 79 points over Signal Mountain (94).


The Buccaneers were coming off of a third-place finish last year and were looking to get on the podium this year.

The Bucs had an outstanding race with 99 points, finishing second to Signal Mountain (44) and were led by senior Ali Burns, who finished 10th and made all-state in 21:13. Freshman Isabelle Johnson also made all-state, finishing in 12th in 21:38.

"It's my senior year this year, so it was awesome to see the girls come together and finish strong," Burns said. "I feel confident that I did pretty well even though I lost some spots. We had some really strong girls that graduated last year and to improve one spot is just awesome."

"The girls raced fantastic. They came together as a team last year and left a little disappointed not getting on the podium," Whitson said. "They wanted that plaque and they worked really hard all season to get it. They all raced well from front to back."

Anna Bader was third across the line for the Bucs, finishing 20th in 22:16 while Camila Rivas was 34th and Anna Davidson was 48th.

Other local finishers included Happy Valley's Olivia Absher (94th; 25:50) and Holly Moore (95th; 25:51).

Boys Cross Country State Win

The University High boys successfully defended their state championship last week. Porter Bradley finished second to lead the charge for the Bucs. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE

The following article was printed in the Johnson City News and Neighbor:

Science Hill freshman Jenna Hutchins and the University High boys struck gold at the TSSAA state cross country championships this past Saturday. 

Hutchins ran a masterful race to put herself in position to challenge Dobyns-Bennett’s Sasha Neglia, and when the defending state champion inadvertently cut a corner near the finish line after straying from the course, Hutchins was declared the champion of the large school girls’ race. The freshman traversed the course in a time of 17:37.

The University High boys, meanwhile, defended their team title. They were led by Porter Bradley’s runner-up finish, but it was a strong team effort that allowed the Bucs to outpace Signal Mountain.


Cross Country


University High Makes Near Perfect Sweep of Regional Cross Country

View More Photos inJohnson City Press

Congratulations to both girls and boys High School Cross Country teams for their performance at the Regional Meet.  The girls took home the regional title with a perfect score of 15.  The top six varsity ladies made the all region team and will advance as a team to the state meet!  Leading the way was Ali Burns who won the overall meet title for the ladies followed by Isabelle Johnson, Anna Bader, Camila Rivas, Anna Davidson and Kirsten Day.

The boys team also took home the regional title with a score of 17 points.  The team will advance to the state meet this weekend!  Leading the way was Porter Bradley who won the overall individual title followed by Blake Ryan, Nick Daniel, Hayden Charles, Thomas Johnson, Brant Hare and Bracken Burns.

Congratulations to the JV teams as well for a strong showing in the regional race.  The cross Country runners will be back in action on Saturday as they try to compete for the State Title.
The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

University High makes near perfect sweep of regional cross country
Tanner Cook • Today at 9:33 PM

GRAY — The University High Buccaneers made a near-perfect sweep of the Region 1 small school cross country championships on Thursday at Daniel Boone High School.

The boys team almost perfect scored the meet by getting 17 points with Porter Bradley nabbing the individual title. As for the girls, they did perfect score with 15 points and were led by Ali Burns going for the win.

The boys team is the defending state champion and has a good chance to win it again next weekend in Nashville.

"Our teams showed up today and they executed," University High head coach Maggie Whitson said. "They knew that they were a heavy favorite and they did not let that deter them from running great races. They all worked together and there was a lot of pack running."

Bradley ran out front almost from the gun and cruised in for his second victory this season on the Trailblazer course. The other was at the Trailblazer Invitational a few weeks ago.

"My race was good and I felt really good the last mile," Bradley said after posting a time of 17:01. "I was mostly just using it as a tuneup for state next week. I didn't want to push it too hard.

"This year has been kind of up and down. We've had some guys get injured and some guys quit, but we've come out of it. We've bonded together really well and we're peaking at the right time."

With Blake Ryan in second and Nick Daniel in third on Thursday, the Bucs are well on their way to having another good showing at Percy Warner Park.

West Greene and Chuckey-Doak will join UH in Nashville next week.

On the girls' side, Burns leapt to the front pretty early and led the Bucs to a perfect score with a 21:13 across the line.

They even got the sixth runner in sixth place for nice clean sheet.

Behind Burns was Isabelle Johnson in second (21:52), Anna Bader (3rd, 22:45), Camilla Rivas (4th, 23:36) and Anna Davidson (5th, 23:37).

Joining UH will be Happy Valley in second and South Greene in third.

The individual qualifiers were Brooke Atchinson of West Greene in seventh (24:43), Chuckey-Doak's Courtney Bruce (8th; 25:06) and Emery Coffey of Washburn (10th; 25:52).


UH’s Bradley Springs Upset
Cross Country Trailblazer:  University High's Porter Bradley pulled off quite an upset in the varsity boys race, Boys' Team took 4th place and UH Girls took 5th place....  The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

High school cross country
UH's Bradley springs upset; Boone boys and D-B girls win 46th Trailblazer Invitational
Tanner Cook • Updated Oct 13, 2018 at 11:02 PM

A cool, crisp Saturday morning yielded quick times, surprising results and an upset or two at the 46th annual Trailblazer Invitational cross country meet on the campus of Daniel Boone High School.


The Dobyns-Bennett Lady Indians defended their team title successfully behind a strong winning performance by two-time defending state champion Sasha Neglia breaking her own meet record with a 18:09.3, winning by over a minute.

Neglia sprinted to the front from the gun and the outcome was pretty much a forgone conclusion after she came through the first mile in a blazing 5:24.

"I felt really good out there. The weather certainly made a difference," Neglia said. "There's a big difference between running in this weather and running in the high 80's. I feel pretty good about the season so far, but I'm still training through races because I want to run fast later in November. That's been the goal."

However, the Lady Indians had company up front as Myers Park (NC) was just four points behind the Tribe (42-46). Emma Russum continued her strong season for D-B with a third-place finish and a personal record on the course at 19:38.

"Emma has run really well the past two weeks. She's racing like she's been practicing," D-B head coach Bob Bingham said. "The girls are continuing to come along. They ran against Brentwood last week and they beat us and, of course, we've run against Science Hill and they've beat us. We've got our work cut out for us, but we're nowhere close to hitting on all cylinders yet."

Host Boone was third with 57 points and ran their best race of the year so far. The Lady 'Blazers were led by a sixth-place from Judy Chellah, who posted a 20:18 on her home course.

Taylor Roy of David Crockett led the Lady Pioneers to a fourth-place team finish by placing fifth in 20:00.

The Region 1-AAA championship meet will be at Boone again in 13 days from Saturday and it will be essentially four teams fighting for three spots.

University High took another step into trying to move up the podium from a third-place finish at state last year with a fifth-place team finish (157 points). The Lady Bucs ran with only five scorers, but they were packed closely — with the first four coming in within 48 seconds of each other.

Other notable individual finishes were Elizabethton's Lauren Pilkton (7th; 20:20), Cherokee's Harper Russell (14th; 20:43) and Unicoi County freshman Marissa Soulier (21st, 21:16).


University High's Porter Bradley pulled off quite an upset in the varsity boys race, crossing the line in 16:47. The senior has been on a tear this season, highlighted by two big performances at Bristol Cross and Saturday at Trailblazer.

Bradley took a huge gamble early in the race after the opening mile by taking the lead with some of the hardest parts of the course left to face.

However, that did not faze Bradley as he extended his lead in the next mile and looked up "Moody's Hill" on the backside of the course with a sizable margin over Dobyns-Bennett's Tyler Mays. He never looked back after that quick peek over his shoulder. Mays would finish second in 16:57.

"I knew I wanted to win today," Bradley said. "I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I just saw that opportunity and went for it. This race definitely has my confidence high."

The Trailblazers won the boys race on the team side (52 points) with a strong fifth-place showing by freshman Conner Wingfield (17:09). The freshman has led the 'Blazers two of the last three races and continues to impress.

Boone senior Matt Huff filled the next spot in sixth (17:11) as the 'Blazers finished with three runners in the top 10. Max Austin was eighth in 17:20.

Boone was down a couple of usual varsity runners with Chance Bowman in the junior varsity race and one more due to sickness.

Bowman won the junior varsity race in 17:10.

"The boys had a gutsy performance being, in a sense, short-handed. We were essentially running with five of the top seven varsity members," Boone head coach Len Jeffers said. "They pulled together and ran a great race. I can't say enough about their efforts."

A vastly improving Morristown West team finished second on the day with 88 points and is making a strong case for the third spot in the team race in two weeks at regionals.

Myers Park was third with 107 points while defending A/AA state champion University High was fourth with a total of 131.

Making an impressive showing, the Bucs finished in front of both Dobyns-Bennett (5th) and David Crockett (6th) in the team standings.

"From the front to the back, the boys ran solid," UH head coach Maggie Whitson said. "I think Porter's success is due to his hunger to race again. That's been the breakthrough for him. He took some time off and he needed it. He took some time to really want to be back out there again and race. Today, it all came together and he executed."

Other notable finishes included Crockett's Hank Lowe in seventh at 17:14, UH's Blake Ryan (11th; 17:27) and Cherokee's Austin Kirkpatrick (14th; 17:38).


For the large schools, the Big 11 conference meet will be on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Steele Creek Park in Bristol. The region meet will be on Oct. 25.

For the small schools, the regional meet is also back at Boone on Oct. 25.


XC News - Porter Bradley 3rd place at Bristol Cross Steele Creek Park
XC News - Porter Bradley 3rd place at Bristol Cross Steele Creek Park.  The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

Crockett's Roy claims individual title; Boone boys win Bristol Cross title
Tanner Cook • Updated Sep 22, 2018 at 7:34 PM

BRISTOL — Heat and humidity were the story of the 27th annual Bristol Cross at Steele Creek Park on Saturday morning, but that didn't faze area teams after a great showing at the hilly, double-loop course.

Daniel Boone took home the title on the boys' side, winning comfortably by 32 points over Hardin Valley (60-92).

On the girls' side, David Crockett's Taylor Roy took home the individual title with a time of 19:06. Hardin Valley took the team title with 48 points over Daniel Boone (69 points).


Roy shot out to the lead from the gun and held it for the entire race. Crockett's Rachel Dulaney finished fourth overall in 20:22.

The first Virginian was Patrick Henry's Katherine Grossman, finishing sixth in 20:38.

The spread for the Lady Trailblazers about 1:05 from the first to the fifth runner. The average for Boone was 21:28.

Erin Bruce was first across the line for Boone, finishing in 20:50 in eighth. Patricia Chellah was next in 11th, crossing in 21:12.

Crockett finished in third with 93 points and averaged 21:18.

"My strategy was just to stick with the Catholic girl," Roy said. "I felt really good out there today. I tried to ignore the heat and just race. I had a personal best on the course by a minute, so I was pretty excited."

Knox Catholic's Elanor Mancini (19:24) and Hardin Valley's Cathryn Jardet (20:08) finished second and third, respectively. HV's Ellie Sachmann (20:33) rounded out the top five.

Other notable finishers included Boone's Sheldon Grace (17th, 21:37), Crockett's Emmaline Hulse (19th, 21:38) and Boone's Alanna Cloud (20th, 21:43).


Knox Catholic's Jake Renfree dominated the race as expected, cruising across the line in 15:53 for the victory — his second consecutive sub-16 performance at Bristol Cross. Renfree was a 2017 Foot Locker national finalist in San Diego, where he finished fifth.

His big, long stride was flowing across the hilly course and gapped the field by over 30 seconds by the end of the first mile.

"My strategy coming in was relax for the first half mile and see if anyone was going to go with me, and no one didn't," Renfree said. "I was just learning to race by myself today. ... My first race was really bad and I was coming off of being sick, but last week at Trinity/Valkyrie I raced pretty hard and was able to win."

Gabriel Tardy, representing Knoxville Ambassadors, was runner-up at 16:34.

Boone racked up its second win of the season with a great performance despite Chance Bowman collapsing 80 meters from the finish and winding up being the Trailblazers' third man. Teammate Matt Huff picked up Bowman and dragged him across the finish.

"The boys ran their butts off today," Daniel Boone head coach Len Jeffers said. "It was tough conditions, but both teams ran really well."

University High's Porter Bradley debuted in 17:06 for his senior season and was the highest placing local (third overall).

"I felt really happy about my race. It was my first race and I wanted to put up a good result," Bradley said. "I loved this course in middle school and I always did well. I think that's why I wanted to start here."

Holston's Jordan Keith was the first Virginian in 17:08 in fourth. Hardin Valley harrier Nathan Hillis (17:09) placed fifth.

Cherokee's Austin Kirkpatrick was one of the other top local finishers, crossing the line in 17:11 — good for sixth.

The top finisher for Boone was freshman Conner Wingfield in eighth at 17:16.

High School Cross Country - Virginia Meets
Congratulations to the Girls and Boys High School Cross Country teams on a great showing in Virginia over the last two weekends. 

The Girls traveled to Roanoke, Virginia and ran solid in a very competitive field.  Leading the way for the team was Ali Burns, followed by Isabelle Johnson, Anna Bader, Camila Rivas, Anna Davidson and Kirsten Day.  The ladies pulled out some new personal bests and executed exceptionally well.

The Boys traveled to Roanoke as well with a solid day in humid conditions and very large, competitive field.  Leading the team was Blake Ryan following with tremendous pack running Nick Daniel, Hayden Charles, Will Owen, Bracken Burns, Brant Hare and Thomas Johnson.

The teams will race again on September 22nd, in Bristol.  Come out and support your High School teams as they continue their chase to the State Meet.  Go, Bucs, Go!


Cross Country News - Run for the Hills
Cross Country News - Run for the Hills:  The High School Cross Country teams had a great opening meet into the 2018 season as well.  The Girls Team placed 3rd overall.  Leading the way was Ali Burns followed by Isabelle Johnson, Anna Bader, Camila Rivas, Anna Davidson and Kirsten Day.  The Boys Team placed 4th overall.  Leading the team was Blake Ryan followed by Nick Daniel, Will Owen, Hayden Charles, Thomas Johnson, and Brant Hare.  The JV teams finished well in a very competitive field.  The teams will be back in action Saturday, September 1st, in Christiansburg, VA.  Great job, HS Cross Country!


Printable Schedule 





Please note that due to the TSSAA Policy on Outdoor Sports Practice during times of extreme heat, Cross Country practice may be cancelled by the coach or Athletic Director.  Please remind athletes to bring a water bottle and to drink plenty of water at school and at home!

Runners - please note that you MUST have a physical and turn in your Emergency Treatment Form  ASAP.  You cannot participate in a meet until these forms are returned


Directions to University School Cross Country Meets

Weyerhaeuser Park (The old Heritage Park) (1st Annual Redskin Rally)

Take Exit 51 (Wilcox Drive)

Go straight at bottom of exit ramp

Continue on Wilcox Drive for 2 miles (you will pass a BP gas station on your left)

Get in the right lane

As soon as you cross a bridge, turn right onto Jared Drive and take immediate right onto Riverport Road

Go 2 miles, complex is on the right

Holston Dam (Run for the Hills Meet)

Take Bristol Highway. Just before Bristol Speedway take right onto 394. Go straight through red light. Stay on 394 (5/6 miles) to second red light. Take right onto 421. Follow signs to Holston Dam.

David Crockett High School (Santo Cicirello Meet)

Take West Market Street out of town towards Jonesborough.  West Market Street becomes Jackson Blvd (2.1 mile).  Turn left onto N Washington Drive (0.2 mile).  Turn right onto W Main St. (0.8 mile).  Continue on Old TN-34 (2.0 mile).  David Crockett will be on your right. 

Daniel Boone High School (Region and Trailblazer)

Take I-181 N to Exit 42. Turn left. The school is a couple miles ahead on the left.

Winged Deer Park

Take Bristol Highway and Winged Deer Park will be on the left.  Take Carroll Creek Road until the boat dock.  The race is to the right of the boat dock and pavilion.

Steele Creek, Bristol (Bristol Cross Meet)

Take Bristol Highway to State Street (in Bristol). Turn left on State Street. Stay on State Street bearing left in front of the Walmart. Go past the K-Mart. Turn left at Taco Bell and CVS. Turn left on 126. Steele Creek Park is one mile ahead.

Warriors Path State Park

Take 1-181 towards Kingsport and take Rock Springs Road exit. After you exit turn right onto Moreland Drive. You will pass Sullivan South High School on your left. Continue on road, crossing straight through red light on Ft. Henry Drive and follow road until you reach park. Follow signs.

VA Meets

Turn into the Veterans Administration (VA) from State of Franklin (across from the Mini-Dome at ETSU)

Victor Ashe Park, Knoxville

From downtown Knoxville, take Western Avenue headed west; after approximately four miles, turn right onto Pleasant Ridge Road; go approximately three miles (before Northwest Middle School) and turn left onto Bradshaw Road; park is on immediate right.

Hagan Stone, Greensboro, NC

From I-40 E towards Greensboro merge onto US-220 S via Exit 218A toward US-220 S/Asheboro/I-85-BR S.  Merge onto I-85 N via Exit 78.  Take the US-421, exit on Exit 126 toward Sanford.  Merge onto US-421 S/Joseph M Hunt Jr Expy via Exit 126A toward Sanford.  Turn right onto Hagan-Stone Park Road.

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