HENDERSONVILLE: The annual Sumner County Cross Country Championships wrapped up just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, with Beech High School claiming yet another sweeping victory over their county rivals. 

In the first race sophomore, Zaely Tilt won her second consecutive county championship with a 5,000 meter time of 19:45.90, while teammate Ethan Lanning took home first place with a time of 16:36.40. 

Of the top 10 finishers on the boys side, seven came from Beech High School, including the first six runners. 

For the girls, Beech was just as dominant, placing seven runners in the top 10. 

“The kids have done a nice job of building a culture here at Beech,” coach Scott Wietecha said. “I tell them all the time they are the car and I’m the GPS — I am here to guide, instruct, and push, but it is the kids who have created this culture, continue to builds this culture, and as their coach, I love being part of it.”

Wietecha adds that the team concept makes his runners so competitive not only across the county and Midstate but also with each other. 

“I think the biggest thing is they are accountable with one another,” he said. “They all know what each runner can do, so they are there to encourage them and kick them in the butt if needed. It’s the team that motivates them, and that attitude brings them success individually.” 

As great as she was for the Lady Bucs in 2020 as a freshman, Wietecha says Zaely Tilt has a new sense of urgency and dedication this season. 

“I’ve been impressed with her,” he said. “She has approached this year with even more focus, more intensity, and more fight. We had a very competitive middle school team two years ago, and I expected her to be maybe our 3,4,5 runner, but she has worked hard these last two years to stay our number one. Her competitiveness, leadership, work ethic has improved to a whole new level. The best part is she still has plenty of room to grow.”

Wietecha adds the boys team is feeling more and more confident as each day passes and intends to win a team state championship in the next two years.

“We need more firepower in the front,” Wietecha said. “We have a solid 3,4,5, but we need a couple of guys under 16 minutes (5K), but having this course (Sanders Ferry Park) is a big advantage. We will race this course four more times before state and will try to learn something new each time to apply during the state meet.”

Below are the results for the top 10 boys and girls varsity athletes. To see full results check out TN Milesplit.

Boys Varsity Grade School Time Points

Ethan Lanning 11 Beech High School 16:36.40 1

Tristan Gould 11 Beech High School 16:46.20 2

Blake Brown 12 Beech High School 16:49.60 3

Wesley Luisi 9 Beech High School 16:55.80 4

Jamison Stenzel 10 Beech High School 16:56.90 5

Colin Everett 10 Beech High School 17:03.60 6

Nate Shingleton 11 Station Camp HS 17:05.50 7

Tyler Downs 10 Beech High School 17:35.40 8

Parker Breitling 10 Merrol Hyde Magnet 17:58.70 9

Foster Beck 11 Station Camp HS 18:09/30 10

Team Scores Points Time

Beech 15 16:48

Station Camp 64 18:16

Merrol Hyde 100 19:01

Gallatin 129 19:40

Hendersonville 130 19:54

White House 138 19:59

Westmoreland 179 21:16

Portland 247 26:17

Girls Varsity Grade School Time Points

Zaely Tilt 10 Beech High School 19:45.90 1

Abi Cobb 9 Station Camp HS 20:02.20 2

Olivia Gould 9 Beech High School 20:03.80 3

Sydney Tackett 9 Beech High School 20:11.50 4

Hailee Gorham 11 Hendersonville HS 20:26.30 0

Ana Gregory 9 Beech High School 20:52.90 5

Faith Swaby 9 Beech High School 21:01.30 6

Blanca Gomez 10 Beech High School 21:23.00 7

Kim Roundy 12 Beech High School 21:26.60 8

Julianna Mitchell 10 Station Camp HS 21:38.50 9

Team Scores Points Time

Beech 19 20:23

Station Camp 46 21:52

Gallatin 105 24:32

White House 107 24:58

Merrol Hyde 112 25:11

Zach Womble oversees sports coverage in Sumner County for the Gallatin News, Hendersonville Standard and Portland Sun. Womble has won several TPA awards, highlighted by two first-place awards in 2020 for best sports writing and best special section.

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