Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 18, 2013

Rain, cold, snow doesn’t stop CCHS runners


Submitted

CROSSVILLE — As of Wednesday, the CCHS track team athletes are working hard rain or snow everyday.

"What many people do not know about them is that even on days when school is out due to bad weather, many of them find a way to come in and get in their workouts. We have shoveled snow off the track so they can get in the work that is so vital to their growth and their goals of being medal winners at the state meet. Even when not racing, many of these student-athletes are putting in mileage that is so vital to their endurance not to mention their health. How many other athletes in this county are that dedicated? Many of our student-athletes not only put in the time after school but are excelling in the classroom as well," said Coach Ted McCaslin.

"That being said, I want to let you know a few things about our team. We are in the AAA, Region 2 of Division I. We are one of the smaller schools in AAA. We make no excuses of how big or small we are, we just put in the work, show up on race day and compete week in and week out with some of the best teams in the entire state," he added.

The Lady Jets 4x800 team is sitting in 11th place in all the AAA schools across the state. They will break the school record of 10:18 sometime in the near future. Members of this team are Jennifer Hedgecoth, Brianna Taylor, Marissa Vincent and Anna Holt Shaw.

"I was asked at the Optimist where do we keep getting these runners, and I said, we develop them. This relay team has taken off almost 60 seconds from their overall time in the last month. They are sitting in first in Region 2," said McCaslin.

The girls 4x400 team is 229th in AAA and fourth in Region 2. The members of this team are Jennifer Hedgecoth, Anna Holt Shaw, Marissa Vincent Vincent, and Taonna Miller.

"I truly believe that they will break the school record of 4:13 and qualify for the state meet," he added.

Sophomore Kassidy Sommer is sitting 13th in AAA in the 3200 and is right now 14 seconds ahead of where she was at this time last year.

"You plan for distance runners to improve around four percent each year. If Kassidy does this she will run around 11:29 in the 3200 and could very well place her on the medal stand at the state meet,"  he added.

Sommer ran Tuesday night at The Great 8 Invite held at Vanderbilt and finished fifth. This is her second year at qualifying for this prestigious meet. She is also currently ranked fifth in Region 2 and 27th overall in the 1600.

"We expect her to qualify in both events for the state meet," he said.

All members of the girls track team will return except Becky Carter and Sharon Ulloa.

"Sharon has a great shot at qualifying for section finals in the 300 hurdles. The girls team has a great chance to represent CCHS at the state meet in Murfreesboro in four open races and two relays," noted McCaslin.

The state meet will be held at MTSU, May 22-24.

The Jet track team loses one member of their team for 2014. This team is dominated by sophomores and freshmen. One of the leaders is Brad Mathis. He is running the 1600 and 800 and could be on two relays if they need him.

"Brad is only a few seconds off the school record in both events and has a great shot at representing CCHS at the state meet, but will take a tremendous effort on his part to get there. Brad has all the tools necessary to accomplish this task," added McCaslin.

The boys 4x400 and 4x800 teams also have a great opportunity to make it to the state meet as well. The 4x400 team is currently ranked eighth in the region and fourth in the 4x800.

Members of these two relays are Daniel Richards, Seth Randall, Kyle Lockwood, AJ Page and Seth Hardman.

"These teams will have to peak at the right time to make it to Murfreesboro. Seth Randall has a shot at qualifying in the 300 hurdles as well. Perhaps they will and represent CCHS in three open races and two relays," he continued.

"So as you can see, the 2013 CCHS track teams have all but three members coming back next year. The interest in our sport is growing and hopefully over the next few years will get a great influx on new members to keep our success headed in the right direction. It is our belief here at CCHS that you will see a state track champion in the near future. It could be individuals or in the relays, but you will see one soon. Track is not an easy sport to be a part of, for if it were easy, everyone would be doing it," concluded McCaslin.

McCaslin will be taking several of the boys and girls to the Tri-Cities Classic at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, TN, and to the Best of Preps at GPS April 26.