The Happy Valley Girls Cross Country team is head back to state.
The Lady Warriors punched a ticket to the state meet with a second-place performance at the TSSAA Region 1 Championships.
Happy Valley will join other qualifying teams at Percy Warner Park next Saturday with a state championship on the line. It is the first time since 2003 that the Happy Valley cross county program has advanced to the state meet.
HV was led by All-Region selection Olivia Absher as she covered the course in a time of 26:14 to finish in 12th, while Kalee Lane, who also earned an All-Region selection, crossed the line in 26:45 with a 14th place finish.
Chelsea Arnold recorded a solid top-20 finish as she recorded a time of 28:49 to finish in 17th. Aubrie Caldwell, Cierra Southerland and Kalee Roark rounded out the Warrior grouping as they finished 21st, 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
University High captured the top team spot.
On the boys’ side, Jacob Absher finished in 17th with a time of 21:47, while Tristin Tipton and Spencer Babb finished 28th and 29th. Seth Clark, Dawson Moore and Ty Hartman also had strong runs for the Warriors in the team’s sixth-place finish.
In the large schools division, Lauren Pilkton paced Elizabethton with a mark of 21:06 to finish in 18th, while Chloe Lyons, Cheyenne Bowers and Chesney Grindstaff had solid runs for the Lady Cyclones.
Elizabethton boys’ were led by Corbin Hazlewood as he covered the course in a time of 19:39 to place in 65th, and Ethan Fields finished in 69th with a time of 19:45. Nicholas Street and Jared Ledford also covered the course with a sub-20 minute time.
The Cyclones also saw William Newman, Holston Howard and Logan Bradley have strong runs to round out the team effort.