The Clayton-Bradley Middle School Cross Country Boys get to say five words that every athlete wants to say, "We are going to state!" To cap off an amazing season that Bentley, Lyle and Grayson have had, they came through in the Regional Meet and qualified for the Tennessee Middle School State Cross Country Meet. It was wet from all of the rain from that morning and muddy from hundreds of previous runners from the elementary races and cars driving through for their biggest race of the season. With this being their third race at the Knoxville Livestock Center they knew the course well and used it to their advantage. They were nervous, yet excited for the opportunity to do something that not a lot of people get to do in their life, compete against the best in the state.
Through a couple of slips, and even one of them tripping over another person's foot and falling, the triumphant trio pushed hard through the finish line. They competed well against the best this side of the state had to offer. Grayson finished in 42nd with a time of 12:57, Bentley came in at 44th with a time of 12:58 and Lyle finished at 48th with a time of 13:04 in their 2 mile race. These times put them in position to be invited to the state race this Saturday, again at the Knoxville Livestock Center.
"It is proof of their dedication and community throughout the season. It is really special that all three of them qualified. They have ran together in practice and in meets all season. Regardless of how they place in the state race, I am incredibly proud of how they have challenged themselves and I am happy to see their hard work pay off," Assistant Coach, and CBA Cross Country alum, Max Fields stated.
Grayson, who is in his first year running Cross Country and turned in the top time for CBA at the Regional, explained his thoughts on the season and the race, "I have really seen improvement throughout the year. I felt included from the very beginning and we have started to become a family and that is really special for me. At the Regional meet we all pushed our hardest and did not give up. I am proud of each and every one of my teammates. Going to state is something that I had heard about throughout the season, but I never thought that I could get there. It is really special, because I get to run with the best in the state of Tennessee and with my 2 teammates. All that I plan to do is to push and run my very hardest and see what happens."
These great 8th grade boys, led by Coach Sarah Bollschweiler, will make history no matter what on Saturday. If you have the chance, make time to come watch and cheer them on at The Knoxville Livestock Center at 3pm.