Youth have stepped up for this year’s top county cross country teams. Competing in the Union County championships on Saturday at East Union, Myrtle girls and East Union boys took home top honors in the varsity races.
For the Lady Hawks, this was the best race of the year, by far, according to their coach, Chris Greer. Led by Kitana High, who was the overall top female runner with a time of 16:33, the Lady Hawks had seven runners finish in the top 15.
“I think this has to be the proudest I’ve ever been of them,” Greer said. “This is the first year that my daughter has run varsity, but all seven of our runner stepped up.”
“Kitana’s a great runner. She had some nagging injuries at the beginning of the season, but right now she’s doing great.”
After High in first, Carolyne Greer finished fifth with a time of 18:30, followed by Genisha Howell in sixth. Samantha Shettles, Meagan Lowery, Ivory Montgomery and Laykin Dulaney all finished within the top 15 for Myrtle.
Finishing second overall was West Union’s Savannah Shirley, followed by teammate Samantha Bridges. Ingomar’s Sydney Roberts finished in fourth.
Greer credits his younger runners in motivating his team this season.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries, but our seventh graders have kept us motivated,” he said. “Our older runners are getting better, and this is just a great team.”
Also led by the younger runners, East Union’s boys took top honors in the varsity boys race. Joey Pace was the team’s top finisher at third overall, and teammates Zach Rowan and Jordan Salmon also finished in the top 10 for the Urchins.
“We have two of our seniors that are hurt, but we have some ninth graders that have stepped up and are running great,” East Union coach Nathan McLellan said. “Zach Rowan, Jordan Salmon and Joey Pace are leading us right now. If it weren’t for our ninth graders, we’d have our hands full.”
Pace finished with a time of 19:15, while Ingomar’s Tyler Warren was the top boys finisher at 18:10, followed by West Union’s Hunter Jennings at 18:51.
“He’s just a hard worker; does whatever I ask him to do,” McLellan said of Pace.
Union County Championships
Varsity Girls Top 10
1. Kitana High, Myrtle 16:33
2. Savannah Shirley, West Union 17:11
3. Samantha Bridges, West Union 17:55
4. Sydney Roberts, Ingomar 18:23
5. Carolyne Greer, Myrtle 18:30
6. Genisha Howell, Myrtle 18:31.51
7. Kelly Mayo, Ingomar 18:31.55
8. Katie Rowan, East Union 18:32
9. Haleigh Snyder, East Union 18:39
10.Samantha Shettles, Myrtle 18:41
Varsity Boys Top 10
1. Tyler Warren, Ingomar 18:10
2. Hunter Jennings, West Union 18:51
3. Joey Pace, East Union 19:15
4. Noah Bryant, Ingomar 19:27
5. William Harding, New Albany 19:45
6. Zach Rowan, East Union 19:49
7. Randy Long, West Union 19:52
8. Jordan Salmon, East Union 19:56
9. Brandon Crane, West Union 19:59
10.Jonathan Sweatt, Ingomar 20:14
Junior High Girls Top 10
1. Katie Brooks, New Albany 15:46
2. Haley Brown, Myrtle 16:21
3. Carley Hill, New Albany 16:58
4. Carley Lawrence, Myrtle 17:17
5. Rachel Rainey, New Albany 17:31
6. Tara Gardner, Myrtle 17:47
7. Alyssa Greer, New Albany 17:52
8. Sarah Kat Harns, New Albany 18:12
9. Jasmine Hood, New Albany 18:19
10.Maggie Creekmore, New Albany 19:03
Junior High Boys Top 10
1. Lane Bishop, Myrtle 14:19
2. Josh Nicholsin, East Union 14:29
3. Caleb Gullick, Ingomar 14:50
4. Hunter Bailey, Myrtle 15:32
5. Gavin Nuteliell, West Union 15:45
6. Zack High, Ingomar 16:09
7. Jarod Cunningham, East Union 16:13
8. David Greer, West Union 16:17
9. Cole Windham, Myrtle 16:27
10.Dillon Clayton, West Union 16:52