Historically speaking, when cross country runners from West Tennessee, and particularly Tipton County, make it to the state meet, they’re pretty much outclassed by runners from the rest of Tennessee.
Based on what happened at last Friday’s Class A/AA state meet in Hendersonville, things are changing.
For the first time in history three Tipton County runners medaled and a team finished sixth.
Munford junior Ryan Coley led the way, finishing sixth among 251 runners with a time of 16:14. Covington junior San’Darius Coleman trimmed nearly a minute of his previous best time with a 16:41, which was good enough for 10th.
On the girls’ side, Munford sophomore Hannah Callahan made the podium by finishing 15th with a time of 20:20 and helped the team to a sixth-place finish.
It was the first time a runner from Tipton County medaled and the highest finish for a team.
“I wasn’t really expecting to get 15th, but I was really happy I did,” said Callahan, who made her first trip to state.
“Going into it I was definitely nervous because I knew there was going to be some tough competition, but I knew I could get myself in position to get on the podium. Confidence truly helped. I flipped a switch my brain and ran to glorify God and my family and it helped.”
“I’ve been working hard and I think I have some God-given talent,” said Coleman. “I joined in the eighth grade and I didn’t know what i was getting into but I love it now.”
Six other Munford girls also competed: Emily Bey (31st), Kaelyn Coker (45th), Ionna Dunlap (80th), Cara Bruce (110th), Kylie Porter (154th) and Elizabeth Westerfield (197th).
Coley, Coleman and Callahan each said they have big plans for next year. Callahan believes her team can finish in the top five and wants to win the race as an individual by her senior year. Coleman wants to move up as an individual and keep trimming his time.
“Oh, I don’t wanna try and win it, I want to win it next year,” Coley said. I’m not being cocky, but I have that confidence from getting sixth. I think if I truly train right and have a good diet I can win it.”
In the Division II-A state race, Rosemark eighth-grader Yianni Sinis finished 12th with a time of 17:27.