Hard Work Pays Off for Young Runners from RMS and DCS
Evensville, TN — The Rhea County Middle School Running Eagles are off to a quick start! The team, comprised of girls and boys from Rhea Middle School and Dayton City School have already raced twice over the past two weeks, and have been training since July 6AM practices. All of their hard work is beginning to pay off.
While there are only three girls on the team, they are making great strides. Anastasia Holcomb, and 8th grader from DCS, led the team in their first meet at Fletcher Park in Cleveland, TN with an impressive 11th place. She trailed closely by 6th grader Kylee Swearingen with a 25th place finish in her first race, and Marissa Coulter, who placed 52nd to round out the girls team. The following week, the Eagles faced a larger crowd with some steeper competition with Holcomb placing 14th, though she dropped 33 seconds off of her previous week’s time. Swearingen moved up two places and dropped an impressive 1:07 off of her time from last race! The girls are searching for two more runners so that they will be able to place as a team.
In boy’s action, Devon Dunigan (8th Grade,RMS) ran to the top ten in both races, placing 5th at Fletcher Park and moving up to 2nd place out of over 100 competitors at Westwood Baptist’s course with an impressive time of 12:52. He was followed closely by teammate Elijah Hall (8th Grade, Homeschool) who placed 8th in the first race and moved up to 7th in the latter. Capping off the top 5 in both races were Eagles runners David Schaeffer (8, RMS) , Jackson Myers (8, RMS), and Alvin Bishop (7, DCS). In each race, Eli Doran (8, DCS), Bryley Young (8, RMS), and Avery Dunigan (6, RMS) compete for varsity positions (top 7). Improving with every practice and race are Caleb Willin (6, RMS), Judah Hall (6, RMS), and Thompson Heald (7, RMS).
The boys team finished 5th in both races. The Running Eagles look to move up as a team and as individuals and continue to improve every day. The goal is to make it to state at the end of the season, which will mean they need a top 3 finish as a team, or a top 10 finish as an individuals. Come out to support the runners at their next meet on Thursday, September 6th, at Athens Regional Park.
Madalyn Newby is the first year coach of the team this year and the author of this article. Thanks to Madalyn for her work with Cross Country and her contributions to Rhea Review. Madalyn is an English Teacher at Rhea County High School. She is a graduate of Rhea County High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.