Cross Country moving at brisk pace

Cross country runners  (L to R) Jackson Pitcher, Katelyn Rowe, Kilia Hasty and Carson Gilliam placed at Saturday's cross country invitational.

Kim Conner

Cross country runners (L to R) Jackson Pitcher, Katelyn Rowe, Kilia Hasty and Carson Gilliam placed at Saturday's cross country invitational.

Kim Conner, Advisor

With seniors anchoring the team, TJCA’s cross country runners are making strides to be the best team the school has seen.

“These teams are the most all around competitive I have coached in years,” said Cross Country Coach Eric Scruggs. “The best part is that most of them will be back for the next 2 years.”

With recent wins at an invitational meet Saturday, the team held their place against 35 teams and running four races.

The TJ Boys were 1 runner short of scoring as a team but were led by Jackson Pitcher finishing 2nd with a time of 17:48 in his race.   Carson Gilliam followed Pitcher with an 8th place finish. Ethan Fountain ( 61st ) and Turner White (70th ) would round out the boys’ effort in a 120 man field of runners.

“The boys work hard and have improved every week, and I am anxious to see how we place in the conference,” said Scruggs.

The girls finished 2nd out of 10 scoring teams and were led by Kilia Hasty who finished first with a time of 21:02 and Kaitlyn Rowe finishing 7th. Emma Deviney ( 19th ), Laurie Griffith ( 36th ), and Lauren Bennett ( 61st ) would round out the scoring effort for the Girls.

“The girls team is the best TJ has ever had – without doubt!,” Scruggs said.

Scruggs had no doubt the team could continue this winning pace next year if seniors are replaced by new team members.

“If we can get some more quality guys and girls to replace the seniors, we should be very competitive next year as well,” he added.

Girl Team Scores

1 Asheville 67
2 Thomas Jefferson Classical 89
3 R-S Central 110
4 Asheville Christian Acade 119
5 McDowell 127
6 Asheville School 127
7 Cherokee 142
8 Bunker Hill 151
9 Avery County 175
10 A.C. Reynolds 239