Bearden sends five runners to state cross country meet, including two first-time qualifiers


Kara Lovett

Coach Ashley Schott huddles with the boys cross country team after a recent meet.

Bearden cross country runners have been improving their times from the previous season, and many have qualified for Friday’s state meet.

Sophomore Hailey Jordan has improved her time by seven minutes, improving so much that she has qualified this season for state for the first time ever.

“Last year, I was very stressed out and I wasn’t eating enough,” Jordan said. “So when I went to practice, I didn’t have the energy, and this season has been a lot more fun.

“I’ve been able to make more connections with people on the team, so I’ve started to look forward to coming to practice.”

Sophomore Josh Lopez improved his personal 5K record from 19:25 to 17:45. This is also Lopez’s first time qualifying for state.

Lopez’s biggest inspiration to keep running is his grandpa. 

“He goes to a lot of my meets, and every time I see him there makes me want to keep going,” Lopez said. “I started doing good this season because of all the practice I’ve been putting in, and everyone telling me how good I did and complimenting me. 

“I liked getting complimented like that, so I just continued to improve.”

Cross Country Coach Ashley Schott has seen this improvement in these runners first hand throughout the season.

“They believe in themselves,” Coach Schott said. “They are definitely more dedicated and they’ve put in the time and the work, what it takes to be a successful distance runner.

“The success from the beginning of the season really showed them that they could do it.¨

Sophomores Millie Lovett and Cade Crum in addition to senior Cash Coggin will also run in the meet to compete for a state championship.

The TSSAA cross country championships will take place Friday at Sanders Ferry Park in Hendersonville. The girls will start at 1:50 p.m. local time, and the boys will start at 2:40 p.m. local time.