By Keeli Parkey

The Fender’s Farm Carnival run held on Sept. 15 was a successful one for the members of the Unicoi County High School cross country program.

“Our athletes ran exceptionally well,” head coach Thad Higgins told The Erwin Record.

The top finisher for the program was freshman Marissa Soulier who finished in 11th place overall.

“Marissa ran a 20:55 which is a huge improvement,” Higgins said. “She’d been striving to break 21 minutes for the last couple races, so that was a huge milestone for her.”

Cheyenne Wilson completed the race in 23:54 for the Lady Devils.

Darren Soulier led the way for the Blue Devil team, with a season best time of 19:33. Teammate John Campbell finished the race in a time of 20:38. Wyatt Miller finished in a time of 22:41.

“We have been spending a lot of time on the paces that each athlete would run,” Higgins said. “I think that focus began to pay off in this race. However, we still have a lot of room to improve as individuals and as a team.”

The next meet for the UCHS runners will be the Trailblazer Invitational at Daniel Boone High School on Oct. 13.

“Fortunately, we have some time before our next race,” Higgins said. “This will really give us time to work with some different strategies and paces, and will even give us an opportunity to take recovery time so that our athletes feel as fresh as possible for their next race.”