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Jr. Lady Devils race to 4th place

By Keeli Parkey

Marissa Soulier’s top-10 finish helped pace the Unicoi County Middle School girls cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the Terry Hull Crawford Cross Country Classic on Thursday, Sept. 1, in Greeneville.

According to head coach Lydia Hilliard, Soulier completed the 2-mile course with a time of 15:33 and in 10th place out of the 230 female runners competing in the meet. Soulier wasn’t the only Jr. Lady Devil runner to turn in a solid finish last week. Destiny Bridges completed the course in 14th palace with a time of 15:44; Sabrina Todd placed 29th with a time of 16:48; Halie Dehoff placed 36th with a time of 17:01; and Valeria Ponce placed 42nd with a time of 17:20.

As a team, the Jr. Lady Devils posted a score of 131 to finish in fourth place out of 14 girls’ teams at the meet.

Zachary Hopson paced the Jr. Blue Devils with a time of 15:23 in 64th place out of 259 runners. Isaiah Smith ran the course in a time of 15:43 to finish in 68th place.

Other finishers for UCMS were: Matthew Sellars in 82nd place with a time of 16:30; Aidan O’Hare in 86th place with a time of 16:41; and Brycen Callahan in 98th place with a time of 17:56.

As a team, the Jr. Blue Devils posted a score of 398 and finished in 13th place out of 18 teams.

With two meets under their belts, Hilliard said she likes what she sees out of her teams.

“The boys’ and girls’ teams are very supportive of each other,” she said. “I am very proud of both teams. Their running times are decreasing and their hard work shows. Congratulations to the girls’ team for placing fourth. We are looking forward to our next meet.”

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The UCMS cross country teams are scheduled to compete again on Thursday, Sept. 8, at Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport. The meet, which will be run on a 1.8-mile course, will be hosted by John Sevier Middle School. The Jr. Lady Devils are scheduled to begin their race at 4:30 p.m. with the Jr. Blue Devils to follow at 5 p.m.