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XC hits trails this weekend

On your mark; get set; go! Cross-country season got started Saturday with a big 3.1-mile race at McFarland Bottoms in Florence along the scenic Tennessee River, and Franklin County runners will be among those hitting the trails this season.

Tharptown is looking to build off a good showing this past year. The Wildcats finished runner-up at sectionals and had a solid showing at the state meet.

“I am looking forward to seeing both teams build off what they started last year,” said Coach Joseph Brown. “Both teams are coming off of seasons where they had runner-up finishes at sectionals and good showings at the state meet.”

Returning to the boys program are Angel Garcia, Edwin Vela, Dylan Valdez and Alex Quintero. Abby Wilson, Autumn Montgomery and Natalee Franks will anchor the girls team.

Belgreen loses a lot of experienced runners but nevertheless returns a big group.

“We have a young team this year,” said Coach Colby Cox.  “We graduated five runners off of last year’s teams but still have great numbers. We have 19 runners currently in our program.”

Returning to the Belgreen varsity boys team are sophomore Landon Cox and freshman Miguel Perez Cruz. Joining them this year are juniors Emi Jimenez and Benton Gargis and Josh Richeson, along with freshman Gabriel Estrada. Briseyda Luna is Belgreen’s lone returning varsity girl. She had some good finishes last year and will anchor the girls team this year.

“Briseyda is a freshman with a bright future ahead of her,” said Cox. “We have worked hard over the summer, and I look forward to watching our kids mature and reach the potential I know they are capable of.”

Phil Campbell gets started this weekend in the Bobcats’ first run. Top returning runners are Justin Burcham for the boys and Christlin Hester for the girls.

“We are excited for another year and have a lot of new faces who have been working hard and are eager to get their first run in,” said Coach Brett Thomas.

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