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UCHS runners compete at Fender’s Farm

The Unicoi County High School cross country runners have several races under their belts and, according to head coach Thad Higgins, continue to improve with each race. Pictured, from left, Megan Todd, Cheyenne Wilson, Sabrina Todd, Melodie Bocock, Jordan Bridges, Darren Soulier, John Campbell and Sergio Vidrio. (Contributed photo)

By Keeli Parkey

The most recent meet for the Unicoi County High School cross country teams was another successful one.

“On Saturday (Sept. 16) we competed at the Fender’s Farm Country Carnival race in Jonesborough,” head coach Thad Higgins told The Erwin Record. “I really love this course because it’s the closest race that we compete in and it’s easy to see the runners for most of the race. The course takes the runners around the corn fields and pumpkin patches which allows onlookers to see the athletes as they run around the farm. The course is also the flattest course that we run. Fender’s Farm is still a challenging course because athletes have to overcome sharp turns and small running lanes which makes it difficult for them to pass. We ran very well this week and even had a couple athletes break their personal records. … I’m very proud of all of our runners and look forward to our next race.”

Leading the way for the Lady Devils was Megan Todd with a time of 22:38.

“This is a 1:44 improvement over last week’s time,” Higgins said. “She did an excellent job of setting a competitive pace early in the race and holding on to it. I can’t wait to see how she will continue to drop this throughout the rest of the season.”

Cheyenne Wilson turned in another strong performance for UCHS. 

“Cheyenne came in second for the Lady Devils and was also able to improve her time from last week’s race,” Higgins said. “Saturday she ran a 23:42, which was an improvement of nearly a minute from last week’s race.”

Two Blue Devils competed for the team’s top spot at Fender’s Farm, according to Higgins.

“John Campbell and Darren Soulier both ran an exciting race Saturday by competing to be the top Unicoi finisher,” he added. “They traded spots back and forth during the race until John was able to pull past Darren for the top position.

“John finished with a time of 19:25, which was also an improvement of over a minute from last week. Darren ran a 5K personal record (PR) with a time of 19:31 – 28 seconds faster than his previous PR. Jordan Bridges and Sergio Vidrio also ran personal bests with times of 21:20 and 27:41, respectively. For Jordan this was a 36 second improvement and for Sergio it was 2:43 faster than his previous best.”

The UCHS runners are scheduled to race again on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Steele Creek Park in Bristol.