By Keeli Parkey
In her second consecutive trip to the TMSAA Cross Country State Championship, Unicoi County Middle School eighth grader Marissa Soulier improved her final spot by more than 10 places.
The Jr. Lady Devil runner finished in 39th place during the 2016 state meet. In the 2017 race, which was run on a 2-mile course on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Clarksville, Soulier finished in 25th place with a time of 14:02 while racing in a field of 106 racers.
“Only the best come to run at the TMSAA Cross Country State Championship,” UCMS head cross country coach Lydia Hilliard told The Erwin Record. “Every runner is extremely competitive and strives to do their personal best.”
Hilliard said she was very pleased with Soulier’s results at the state meet and for her middle school running career.
“I am very proud of all of her accomplishments,” Hilliard said. “Marissa has such fortitude and is strong in mind and body. She loves the sport and is looking forward to next season at UCHS. I will miss Marissa and her leadership abilities. I know more great things are to come for her in this awesome sport of cross country.”