Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Antioch cross country teams rule district

Runners repeat as champions By Lea Ann Overstreet • THE TENNESSEAN • October 20, 2010 Antioch High School's boys and girls cross country teams are back-to-back district champions. The two teams swept the district championships held Oct. 7 at Shelby Park, producing the first-place runners with multiple members in the top 10. The teams entered the competition undefeated, but that is not what makes these teams great, said Jamie Jenkins, boys coach. "The coaching staff values integrity over wins," Jenkins said. "We believe that success is a product of integrity, dedication, courage and hard work. We demand these from our athletes, and the result has been the successes we have been blessed with." Antioch's boys team finished with three runners in the top 10, with Quamel Prince taking first. Prince, a junior, kept the title of district runner of the year, a moniker he won at the 2009 championships. According to Metro Schools, Prince also set a national record at this summer's Junior Olympics in the Intermediate 800 with a time of 1:51:68, breaking a record set in 2006. Freshman Mamush Midagsa finished third at the championships, and Ron Higdon finished eighth. Other members of the varsity squad are Joseph Brown, Christian Elmore and Brandon Gentry. The girls had five runners in the top 10. "Our team has worked extremely hard to get to this point, and I am truly grateful to be associated with this team as well as this school," said Michael Beem, girls coach. Shaina Johnson finished first and was runner of the year. Oteia Prince, last year's runner of the year, finished third, followed by Andranae Lavender in fourth. Hikma Koko finished seventh and Rylee Thompson finished eighth. Other members of the varsity squad are JaKeima Campbell and Alleigha Williams. Of the 25 runners, nine set personal records, Jenkins said, and the teams will concentrate on qualifying for the Nov. 6 state meet. Jenkins describes all the cross-country members as hard-working, well-mannered leaders who have become a family that encourages one another, never letting each other give up. "Something that we reiterate to our athletes regularly is a quote by Martin Luther King, 'The measure of a man is not where he stands during times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands during times of challenge and controversy,' " Jenkins said. "We tell our athletes that when it gets tough out there running, what will they do? Give up or keep pressing forward? "This is practice for life. If you don't give up now, you won't give up in life. It will become part of who you are as a person, someone who never gives up and has the courage to keep moving forward when things get tough," he said. Jenkins and Beem each won the title of boys and girls district coach of the year for the district for the second straight year.

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