Pioneer Alec Smith would have needed binoculars to see his closest competitor Saturday in the Pioneer Invitational held at WCMS.
Smith ran like he was being chased by a lion to easily win the boys high school cross country race.
Smith finished in first place with a time of 18:09. That was more than 2 minutes faster than his next closest competitor, who was Alex Brewster of St. Andrews Sewanee who finished in 20:19.
“For him to post that kind of time in the heat is really impressive,” said WCHS coach Anne Hunter Myers. “By the time the high school boys started it was 10:45 a.m. and it was pretty hot. He was also able to run like that without being pushed by another runner because he finished so far ahead of everybody else. It’s his senior year and I’m expecting big things from him.”
Myers pointed out the course at WCMS is pretty challenging with a tough gravel hill on the backside. She also noted Zachary Perry ran a strong race in posting a personal best and finishing eighth overall. Luke Winkler was close to a personal best.
On the girls side, Lady Pioneer Emma Randall finished third overall with a time of 24:11. The top finisher was Lexie LaDuc of Cannon County High School who won the race in 22:50.
“I think our girls are going to continue to show improvement,” said coach Myers. “They are getting better with their fitness and race tactics. Emma is a good athlete and she has strong potential.”
Myers said the cross country team continues to run five days a week, Monday thru Friday, even while school is out due to COVID. She said she might be forced to cancel a practice or two this week due to rain because she doesn’t want to run indoors under current conditions.
WCHS cross country is scheduled to compete in the John Freeman Invitational this Saturday at Webb.