By Staff Reports
NASHVILLE — Wrapping up an outstanding performance, Abbi Pierce crossed the finish line in 19th place — out of 179 runners — at Saturday’s TSSAA Class A/AA cross country championships.
Photo contributed - Elizabethton’s Abbi Pierce, front, landed just four spots from all-state recognition.
The Elizabethton sophomore covered the 5-kilometer course at Percy Warner Steeplechase Park in 21:38, which is the eighth-best time in school history for that distance. The time was enough to set another personal record, her third in as many races.
After a very successful volleyball season, Pierce has flourished in cross country as well.
“(Volleyball) Coach (Leslee) Bradley approached me, saying that she had an athlete who was interested in trying out cross country,” said first-year EHS coach Aaron Wood. “I don’t think either of us expected Abbi to reach the very high level of success that she has in only three weeks.”
Pierce’s finish on Saturday was only four spots away from being selected for the all-state team.
This was the culminating race of the Cyclones’ successful cross country season. The team accomplishments include two all-region runners, two all-conference runners, and 15 out of 18 runners setting new personal records. Elizabethton is losing just one senior, Alex Valdez.
“Replacing a leader like Alex will be very hard to do,” Wood said. “However, I am very excited to see what this team can do with a summer of training under their belts. I see a tradition starting to form, and I am very excited to be a part of it.”