GRAY — Wind, rain, cold temperatures and mud greeted the runners Saturday for the 37th Trailblazer Cross Country Invitational at Daniel Boone High School.
It was a tough day, both physically and mentally.
When all was said and done, the Dobyns-Bennett girls and Morristown West boys showed they were the toughest of the tough.
The Lady Indians placed four runners in the top 10, with their fifth finisher 12th. A score of 34 points comfortably gave D-B the team crown over defending state champion Science Hill, which finished second with 102 points. University High was third, totaling 131 points.
The M-West boys were equally dominating Saturday. Spencer Frantom led the Trojans to a 1-2-3 finish among individuals.
Frantom won in a time of 16:16.83. Teammates Jordan Noe (16:53.17) and Desmond Pierce (17:04.82) were second and third, respectively.
West finished with a total of 35 points. Abingdon was second at 89, and University High third with 102.
Science Hill Molly Foster captured the individual girls title, navigating the 5-kilometer course in 19:59.84. It was the freshman’s fourth victory of the season.
John Battle’s Mariah Arnold was second (20:11.42), while D-B’s Ellen Ehrenfried finished third (20:37.55).
Fellow Indian Laura Loveless, placed fourth overall with a time of 20:41.19, with teammates Kendra Sokol sixth (20:53.17), Olivia Loveless ninth (21:01.29) and Molly Smith 14th (21:25.10).
“We race better when we’re bunched like that,’’ Loveless, a senior, said. “We seem to pull each other along, especially when it’s tough like it was out there today.’’
The Lady Indians finished third in last year’s state meet. They have their eyes on the top prize this season.
“There are a lot of very good teams out there,’’ Loveless said. “But right now, I believe in us.’’
Foster has used the same strategy in all her races this season.
“Go out hard and if someone comes up close just push harder,’’ she said. “I feel like I need to have faster times, but on a day like today it was all about winning.’’
Frantom echoed Foster’s sentiment.
“The nastier the weather the better,’’ joked Frantom, a senior. “You just have to run hard and never, ever let up.’’