Four local runners competed Tuesday in the East Tennessee Region Middle School Cross Country championship race at Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville.
North Cumberland eighth-grader Sydney Tabor (12:59) finished third in the field of 269 runners, behind Addison Smith and Niki Narayani of Knox Webb.
This event marked the sixth in a series of races, with each of these girls finishing first in two races. For the final, however, it was the more experienced Webb School contenders claiming the top two spots, with Tabor settling for third.
Trailing and not far behind was sister Lauren Tabor (North Cumberland sixth grade), who finished eighth with a time of 13:30 for the two-mile course.
Crab Orchard eighth-grader Cheyanne Jones turned in her best finish of the season, capturing 15th place with a time of 13:53.
These runners will advance to the Middle School State Championship race on Oct. 19 in Knoxville.
Although narrowly missing qualifying for the state finals, cross country newcomer Mercy McClung (Homeschool eighth grade) showed remarkable improvement over the course of the season, finishing 61st with her PR of 15:36.