By David Rogers. September 30, 2017. BOONE, NC — As middle school cross country competitors go, at least among those competing in Saturday’s High Country CC Classic, nobody came close to relative newcomer Gavin Sweeney, representing local running club, Tailwinds. A relative newcomer to the High Country, the middle school speedster zipped past the Middle School Open Division (boys and girls) to take individual top honors for the 3200 yard modified course in 11:30, nearly a half minute ahead of Northwestern 8th grader Gryffin Slater’s 11:57 and almost a full minute before Tailwinds teammate Ethan Cannon crossed the finish line in 12:29.
COVER IMAGE: Gavin Sweeney of Tailwind Track Club wins the Middle School Open with nary another runner within sight. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News.
Seventy-seven runners competed in the early morning Middle School Open division, with Tailwinds placing 12 runners in the top 30, among both boys and girls.
- 1st — Gavin Sweeney (Boys, grade not specified, 11:30)
- 3rd — Ethan Cannon (Boys, 8th grade, 12:29)
- 9th — Emmitt Coffey (Boys, grade not specified, 13:37)
- 11th — Ryan Wood (Boys, grade not specified, 13:39)
- 15th — Calvin Zwetsloot (Boys, grade not specified, 13:53)
- 16th — Sam Nixon (Boys, grade not specified, 14:03)
- 20th — Will Bradbury (Boys, grade not specified, 14:19)
- 21st — Gwen Anderson (Girls, grade not specified, 14:19)
- 24th — Virginia St. Clair (Girls, grade not specified, 14:27)
- 25th — Rachel Cathey (Girls, grade not specified, 14:35)
- 26th — Kate Sears (Girls, grade not specified, 14:38)
- 30th —
Maddie Parker (Girls, 8th grade, 15:09)
- 31st — Laurel Kiker (Girls, 7th grade, 15:12)
- 32nd — Savannah Duvall (Girls, grade not specified, 15:14)
- 39th — Sullivan McCauley (Girls, grade not specified, 15:50)
Individual middle schools in Watauga County do not have cross country teams, so distance runners from all Watauga County schools as well as home schooled athletes compete for local running club, Tailwind Track Club, open to youth ages 6-18 in North Carolina’s High Country. Tailwind’s home base is Boone, offering a summer/fall cross country season and track in the spring and summer. The club is a USATF and AAU affiliated club and competes in USATF and AAU meets across the state, region and country.
Here are a few captured images from the middle school competition: