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State Champs
The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

University High wins state championship
Jeff Birchfield • Updated Nov 4, 2017 at 7:05 PM

NASHVILLE — A decade later, the University High boys are back on top.

University High won its second state championship Saturday at the TSSAA Small Schools state meet at Percy Warner Park. It came a full decade after winning the 2007 title.

It is the school's seventh cross country title overall — with the UH girls winning five straight state championships from 2005-09.

But this was about much more than history. It was about teamwork.

Five Jr. Bucs finished in the top 25 to give them a 62-101 win over runner-up L&M Stem Academy in the team standings. Signal Mountain was third with 107 points.

"This season has been amazing," UH coach Maggie Whitson said. "We've had some injuries at the beginning of the season and our No. 2 guy was out literally until October. He came up and stepped up in a big way today. Every single boy ran for something more than a personal goal. They ran to bring a state championship back to University School."

Pablo Rivas was the No. 2 guy whom Whitson referred to, and he ran 18:02 to finish 10th in the individual race and earn all-state honors. Porter Bradley was the highest finisher for the Bucs, sixth individually with a time of 17:40 to also earn all-state.

"It's such an honor to represent my school," Bradley said. "It's a real high for the school. We've been working really hard for this day and it all seemed to come together today. I'm really happy about that."

It came together the efforts of the No. 3 through No. 5 guys. The efforts included an 18th-place run by Caleb Strickler (18:47), 19th by Blake Rogers (18:48) and 23rd by Will Owen (19:10).

Bracken Burns (20:01) and Luke Bader (20:09) also ran Saturday, although their scores didn't count toward the team total. With so many low times, Whitson said it enforced the Bucs' long-standing tradition of being strong in distance running.

"University School is definitely strong in the distance," Whitson said. "It's nice that we're bringing a state championship back to University School. It speaks to their hard work. As coaches, we give them the tools and the opportunity to advance. But they went out there and did what they did. They deserve it."

There was even more reason for University High to celebrate, with the girls finishing third in the team standings. The Lady Jr. Bucs ended only five points (94-99) behind state runner-up White House-Heritage.

"The girls finishing third was a big improvement from last year coming off a 10th-place finish," Whitson said. "We started this journey on the girls' side five years ago and today, we finish in the top three of the state. There's nothing more you can ask for as a coach."

Bekah Owen led the way with an individual fourth-place finish (21:36). Other UH finishers were 17th Christina Fulcher (23:16), 33rd Cora Allison (24:31), Anna Davidson (24:49) and Ali Burns (25:01).

"I felt pretty good out there today," Owen said. "It's been a lot of teamwork, a lot of building and my team is my family. It's huge deal to make it this far. It's so emotional because we're like sisters and this is the end of it."

Two other local teams made it to the state meet, as Happy Valley finished 20th on the girls' side and Sullivan North 21st on the boys' side.

It was Happy Valley's first time back in the state championships in 14 years. Coach Matt Estep said it was a big step for the HV program, both for the present and the future.

"We haven't had a lot of interest in cross country in the last few years," Estep said. "It's the first year in a long time we've had a lot of kids out. It was a good learning experience and we will only grow from here."


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

State Champs
Members of the University High cross country program pose with the boys small school state championship trophy last Saturday in Nashville. Contributed
By Dave Ongie

UH boys bring home state championship

By NN Assistant on November 8, 2017 Featured, Local Sports

Two days after the University High boys brought home their first state cross country title in a decade, UH coach Maggie Whitson was still struggling to come to grips with the triumph.

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet except for that trophy sitting down in my entranceway,” Whitson said on Monday.

Whitson has always been a big believer in pack racing, and that philosophy paid off in a big way last Saturday at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The Bucs put five runners inside the top 23 to easily outdistance runner-up L&M Stem Academy in the TSSAA Small School State Cross Country Championships.

As usual, it all started with Porter Bradley, who has paced the team-oriented Bucs all season long. Bradley got off the line well, and his teammates did the best they could to keep pace.

“Porter got out and he set a very impressive tone,” Whitson said.

Bradley eventually settled for a sixth-place finish with a time of 17:40, good enough to earn all-state honors. Pablo Rivas – a senior who provided valuable leadership to the Bucs despite missing most of the season due to injury – finished 10th to earn a spot on the podium and a spot on the all-state team.

The depth the Bucs achieved with their pack-running philosophy was too much for the other teams to overcome. Caleb Strickler (18th), Blake Rogers (19th) and Will Owen (23rd) all stuck together and pushed hard through the finish line.

When Whitson looks back on this team, she said she’ll remember the way each runner embraced the team-first approach it took to win a championship.

“I’ll remember their heart for what they wanted,” Whitson said. “The goal was to win state. Once they got that mindset right, they started working together as a team.”

Cross Country Boys Team State Champions!  Girls Team 3rd Place!
Our University School Cross Country Boys are State Champions and the Girls are 3rd place at State!! Woo-hoo! Congratulations to Coach Maggie and both teams on a fantastic year! We are proud of you!!

Cross Country
Cross Country

Coach: Ms. Maggie Whitson


Cross Country Team Sweeps Regional Championship
Congratulations to our University School Cross Country teams for sweeping the Regional Championship!  Our teams will be competing at the TSSAA state cross country meet in Mufreesboro at Percy Warner Park, on Saturday, November 4th. 

The following two articles were printed in the Johnson City Pressand the News and Neighbor:

Boone boys, UH teams crowned regional cross country champions
Tanner Cook • Updated Oct 26, 2017 at 9:47 PM

The Region 1 small and large school cross country races were held at Daniel Boone High School on Thursday. The word of the day was domination by the winning squads.

Each of the top three teams from every race and the individuals in the top 10 overall all qualify for next week's TSSAA state cross country meet in Mufreesboro at Percy Warner Park.

Small school girls

In the first race of the day — and the smallest — University High senior Bekah Owen took home the individual title with a time of 21:02 for the rolling 5K course.

Owen distanced herself early away from the pack and ended up winning by nearly one and half minutes over her teammate Christina Fulcher.

University High ended having a team score of 15 points and dominated the competition by putting all of their scoring seven in the top eight positions.

The lone girl to break up the UH sweep was Kamorah Ryhlick of Cumberland Gap, who finished third overall and qualified for the state meet.

Happy Valley finished in second place with 66 points while South Green too the final qualifying spot with 72 points.

Large school girls

Sasha Neglia of Dobyns-Bennett continued her season of dominance by blowing away the field again in record fashion. She covered the 5K course in a new course record time of 17:53 and became the only girl to ever break 18 minutes on the Daniel Boone cross country course.

The Indians crushed the team competition with an outstanding score of 29 points, besting second place by 33 points (29-62).

The Pioneers had some close company for second place as Daniel Boone finished only one point behind for third place.

The Science Hill squad missed the state meet as they finished fourth with 100 points. However, senior Gabrielle Mardis did qualify as an individual as she finished third overall in 19:48.

Small school boys

The University High boys team would not be out-done by its counterparts as they also had a perfect score of 15 points in the small school race.

Junior Porter Bradley took home the individual title for the Buccaneers as he cover the course in 17:19.

All of the scoring seven for UH was in the top eight positions.

Chuckey-Doak freshman Irving Medina finished in sixth place and earned an automatic bid to the state meet.

West Greene finished in second place with 66 points and Sullivan North finished in third with 97 points.

Large school boys

Jeb Jones won the individual title, but it was not without a hard fought race from Cherokee sophomore Austin Kirkpatrick, who stuck right on Jones' shoulder until just after two miles.

Jones covered the course in 16:24 while Kirkpatrick ran 16:37 and they were nearly 20 seconds.

Daniel Boone won the team title for the fifth time in six years and won by a wide margin with only 34 points. Science Hill finished in second place with 73 points. Morristown West finished third with 94 points.

Boone boys, UH boys and girls win regional titles
By NN Assistant on November 1, 2017 Featured, Local Sports, By Dave Ongie


The Daniel Boone boys earned a trip to the state cross country meet by winning their fifth Region 1 title in the past six years on their home course last Thursday.

Science Hill's Jeb Jones won the boys large school meet with a time of 16:24. Jones helped lead the Hilltoppers to a runner-up finish in the team competition, good enough to earn Science Hill's boys a trip to state as well. Mason Lewis finished third to lead Boone.

In the large school girls competition, David Crockett and Daniel Boone both earned bids to the state meet. Crockett's Branna Roy notched a runner-up finish to pace the Lady Pioneers while Mariah Chellah's ninth-place finish led the way for Boone. Science Hill's Gabrielle Madris finished third to qualify for state as an individual.

Meanwhile, University High swept the Region 1 small school meet in dominant fashion as the Bucs and Lady Bucs each earned a berth into the state meet. Bekah Owen smoked the competition with a time of 21:02 as the UH girls grabbed seven of the top eight spots. UH's Christian Fulcher, Ali Burns, Cora Alison, Anna Bader, Anna Davidson and Camila Rivas joined Owen in the top eight.

On the boys side, UH's Porter Bradley scored a dominant win of his own with a time of 17:19. The Bucs grabbed seven of the top eight spots thanks to strong runs by Pablo Rivas, Blake Ryan, Will Owen, Caleb Strickler Luke Bader and Bracken Burns.

Cross Country Boys Team Wins 2nd Place, Girls Win 3rd

High School XC: Congratulations to the Boys and Girls Cross Country team for a hard fought meet. The team traveled to Roanoke, Va this past Saturday where they worked the whole time to come up with many personal bests and demonstrated pack running. The teams were battling against some strong competition where they were able to be in the mix of some large schools and talented runners.

Both Middle and High School Cross Country teams will be back in action September 23rd, where they will compete at the Bristol Cross Race!


Cross Country Success
Cross Country News: Middle School: Our Middle School XC teams were back at it this past weekend in Knoxville. Both teams had to contend with an already trampled muddy course and some cold damp weather.

Our girls team placed 11th out of 22 teams with Lena Allison finishing 48th overall, first for the team follwed by Isabelle Johnson, Ella Barnett, Kirsten Day, Joey Fields, Mary Fagerburg and Ella Ayers.

Our boys ran as individuals because we were 1 boy short of a team. Nick Daniels placed 6th overall, first for the team, followed by Braden Williams, Landon White and Miles Buda.

Great muddy running Bucs! We are proud of you!

High School: Congratulations to the boys and girls Cross Country team on a successful weekend in Knoxville. The varsity boys came in 7th as a team while the ladies placed 6th. The JV women came in 4th as a team with the boys rounding out the day with a 7th place finish. UH performed well on a sloppy course and is back in action this weekend in Roanoke, Virginia! Congrats to all on a strong weekend!


Congratulations to our University School Cross Country teams, finishing 2nd and 3rd in the Run for the Hills Meet.  Individual results can be found on the Tennessee Runner Website and the following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

Run for the Hills
Crockett girls, Boone boys win at Run for the Hills
Tanner Cook • Aug 26, 2017 at 11:39 PM

Beneath the shadow of the TVA South Holston Dam, the David Crockett girls and Daniel Boone boys cross country team shined with runaway victories on a near perfect day for running in Bristol at the "Run for the Hills" cross country meet.

The varsity girls race took to the hills first and David Crockett senior Breanna Roy took home a surprising victory in 19:21 over defending champion Jessey Ball of Lebanon, Virginia. This is Roy's first cross country season that she has been healthy since her sophomore year. She had been suffering from compartment syndrome in both legs all of last season and had nearly eight months of recovery.

"It was bit depressing going through compartment syndrome, knowing that my junior year was completely over and I couldn't run anything," said Roy. "It felt good to win today. I started out and my heel was hurting me and I didn't think it was my day. I felt good otherwise."

The Crockett squad impressed as Roy's younger sister Taylor took third in 20:27 and freshman Rachel Dulaney took fourth. Emmaline Hulse and Halle Scott rounded out the scoring for the Pioneers finishing 13th and 17th, respectively.

The Daniel Boone girls squad finished second with 49 points and University High finished third with 140 points.

The boys varsity race was quite the intriguing one as the Daniel Boone squad began their first regular season post superstar Ben Varghese. The race began to unfold early as the Boone squad ran as a pack just behind the leader Noah Wheeling of Abingdon, Virginia just over a mile into the race. As the boys began to climb the biggest climb up the dam, Boone junior Chance Bowman began to gain ground on Wheeling and was looking relaxed doing so.

With just over a mile to go, Bowman got the signal from assistant coach Ray Jones to turn it on and blew by Wheeling to win the race in 16:38.

Junior Matt Huff was next across the line for the Trailblazers, taking fourth in 17:09 and sophomore Mason Lewis followed him in sixth, running 17:18. Senior Carson Wells and sophomore Max Austin rounded out the scoring for the Blazers, taking tenth and eleventh, respectively.

"The overall goal was to stay patient and wait for the signal," said Bowman. "Right now, we're doing a lot of heavy training and we're still putting in a good base."

"It was a great race all the way around for the boys," said Boone head coach Len Jeffers. "They listened very well and were patient. They didn't get carried away or caught up at the start of the race and they just went about their business."

Daniel Boone won the team title by a landslide with only 32 points. The Trailblazers average time on a difficult course was 17:26. University High finished second with 107 points and David Crockett finished third with 138 points.


 Printable Schedule 

Cross Country 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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