The Stone Memorial Lady Panther Cross-Country team won its first-ever regional championship at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville on Oct. 25. The Lady Panthers’ performance at the Region 2AA Championship race was strong enough to out-pace a strong field, including CAK (Christian Academy of Knoxville), Loudon, Alcoa, Gatlinburg-Pittman, Pigeon Forge and other key Region 2AA schools to bring home the champion’s hardware to Stone Memorial High School.
The strength of this year’s team is depth from the first to the sixth runner. In fact, the first six SMHS runners finished in the top 14 positions of the regional championship race, resulting in all of the Lady Panther’s first six runners being named to the All-Region team.
Caroline Pribanich and Kerigan Smith were named first-team All Region with times of 21:39 and 21:49, respectively. Rachel Hutson, Tiffany Cokkinias, Emily Swafford, and Faith Van Ruden were awarded second-team All Region honors posting times of 22:16, 22:44, 23:01 and 23:48, respectively. Stone was the only team to post six runners with times under 24 minutes on the 5,000 meter course (3.1 miles). The team average was 22:18 with an outstanding differential from the first to fifth runner of 1 minute, 22 seconds.
The Lady Panthers will attempt to bring home a first-ever team state championship when they compete against 23 other teams from the eight regions across the state in the TSSAA State Championship meet at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Course in Nashville Saturday.
The Lady Panthers, coached by first-year coach John Walker and seasoned track and cross country coach Louie Delorenzo would like to invite everyone to make the trip to Nashville to cheer on the Lady Panthers and Panthers in the state meet.
The CCHS Jets will run in the AAA state boys meet at 1:45 p.m., followed by the Lady Panthers competing in the A/AA state girls meet at 2:30 p.m. and finishing with the Panthers competing in the A/AA state boys race at 3:15 p.m.
Percy Warner Park is on 2500 Old Hickory Blvd in Brentwood, TN.