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Saxony Lutheran sweeps district
Class 1: The Crusaders ran away with the boys and girls team titles.
JACKSON -- Saxony Lutheran freshman Lucy Gage and her brother junior Ross Gage hardly consider themselves two of a kind, but they do share one passion.
"We have running in common, but usually that's about it," Ross said. "On the weekends we'll do some long runs in the park on Saturdays and do that. She's always ready to go when I am.
"But maybe that's where the similarities end."
Brother and sister now have something else in common -- they both placed second in their individual Class 1 District 1 meets Saturday to help their teams earn first-place finishes and a trip to the state meet next weekend.
On the girls side, Lucy Gage finished in 23 minutes, 7 seconds, only behind Brentwood's Sorelle Peat. Saxony senior Deanna Dippold finished third.
The Crusaders won the overall team competition with 28 points, Chaffee, in its first year of competition, followed with 41 and Oak Ridge came in third with 53.
On the boys side, Ross Gage finished behind only Oak Ridge's Garrett Light. Light ran the course in 18:35. Gage had a time of 18:37 and Saxony Lutheran's Max Wieser followed in third with 18:53.
The Crusaders came in first with 21 points. Oak Ridge took second with 48 and Delta followed with 66.
Lucy Gage is in her first year of running cross country. The only competitive running she did before this season was one year of track and field in grade school. She said her brother inspired her to try out for the team.
"I went to all my brother's meets when I was younger," she said. "It took a lot to adjust [to cross country] -- just getting in shape and working on my speed."
She added that she tried out for the team to get in shape and to help the girls team reach five runners to compete as a team in district and state meets.
Ross said he was happy about his performance, but especially proud of his sister.
"She saw me running and she saw how I enjoyed it so much so she thought, 'Hey, I'm going to give this a try,'" Ross said. "She worked really hard this summer putting in some good miles in the summer and everything.
"She has been working hard all year and it really paid off here. This has been one of the greatest races she's ran."
Ross, who said he enjoys cheering on Lucy during meets, added that he liked having his sister at practice this year.
"We get along most of the time really well," Ross said. "Most of the time. But it's really fun having her there and hanging out. We have a bunch of the same friends and everything."
Saxony Lutheran coach Larry Cleair was especially pleased with Lucy's performance.
"Lucy has come off of a little knee tweak which never sidelined her but she had to be careful," Cleair said. "It was just one of those things where the tendons were getting stretched a little bit with growth because she's grown about 4 inches in the past year."
Light, the first-place finisher from Oak Ridge, improved from his performance last year as a freshman when he came in 11th.
Light, who also plays basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring, said his goal now is to finish in the top 25 in state after coming in 98th last fall.
Team scores -- Saxony Lutheran 21; Oak Ridge 48; Delta 66.
Local individual finishers
Saxony Lutheran (21) -- 2. Ross Gage 18:37; 3. Max Wieser 18:53; 4. Bryant Steffens 19:02; 5. Sam Kluesner 19:02; 7. Andrew Etzold 19:14.
Oak Ridge (48) -- 1. Garrett Light 18:35; 10. Stephen Bolen 19:18; 12. Caleb Elam 19:22; 15. Tyler Lappe 20:07; 16. Kaz Lange 20:35.
Delta (66) -- 6. Austin Seabaugh 19:09; 11. Zack Riegert 19:19; 17. Seth Blattel 21:05; 19. Teddy May 21:10; 28. Brandon Horman 23:31.
Advance -- 13. Grant Gray 19:24; 22. Cody VanGennip 21:38; 25. Nate Middleton 22:23; 26. Blake Lingle 23:08.
Meadow Heights -- 23. Nick Farrow 22:11; 24. Aaron Elk 22:17; 31. Justin Maskers 25:54.
Team scores -- Saxony Lutheran 28; Chaffee 41; Oak Ridge 53.
Local individual finishers
Saxony Lutheran (28) -- 2. Lucy Gage 23:07; 3. Deanna Dippold 23:11; 4. Kristen Dippold 23:12; 13. Cassie Simpher 25:38; 25. Alisha Mahnken 30:04.
Chaffee (41) -- 8. Sarah Sigman 24:35; 11. Taylor Kirchdoerfer 25:19; 12. Sarah Reischman 25:25; 15. Elizabeth Schlosser 26:05; 17. Randi Wiley 26:11.
Oak Ridge (53) -- 7. Erin Owens 24:13; 10. Shelby Proctor 25:11; 19. Jasmine Clark 27:12; 28. Olivia East 33:51; 29. Virginia Erwin 35:40.
Meadow Heights -- 5. Beth Payne 23:37; 6. Jill Mills 23:45; 21. Rachel Bright 28:26; 22. Hatti Cook 28:39.
Delta -- 14. Jessica Kidd 25:43; 16. Amanda Drew 26:09; 18. Lisa Henderson 26:30.