published Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Mallory Young, Jackson Goodwin lead Signal, Baylor cross country wins

Senior Madison Drennan said Tuesday that her Signal Mountain cross country team has the goal of doing its best in every meet. Time and time again, the Lady Eagles' best has been better than most everybody they've encountered.

They were victorious in the Chattanooga Cross Country league meet Tuesday at Woodland Park Baptist Church, totaling 38 points -- seven fewer than second-place Heritage. And Signal was honored afterward as the team of the year.

Baylor's boys won with 32 points and were named team of the year as well.

Individual winners Tuesday were Signal's Mallory Young -- the girls' runner of the year -- and Baylor's Jackson Goodwin, who claimed his second straight victory. Bradley's Harold Smith was named the boys' runner of the year.

Drennan was one of four top-10 finishers for the Lady Eagles, along with Young, Becca Umbarger and Taylor Luftringer.

"We all wanted to work hard and do our best. The outcome didn't matter," Drennan said. "It's good to know our best was enough, but we gave it all we had because we have to get ready for the Front Runner meet, region and state.

"Hopefully we can all pick it up then."

The Lady Eagles will be fighting for their first region championship in two weeks, when the 4-A/AA meet takes place at Fort Bluff near Dayton.

Baylor's Red Raiders had similar success Tuesday, as they had four of the top 11 finishers. Alex Sumida was third, Anders Pokela was sixth and Logan Mies, running in his first meet of the season, was 11th.

"We're ecstatic about how we've done this year," Baylor coach Jan Gautier said. "This season was about our ability to win without [Wake Forest freshman] Simon Holden. We have a good team and we compete against area runners, but the guys also compete against each other. They have a very healthy rivalry in that they are all friends, but they want to beat each other, which makes us better as a team."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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