Cross country season underway

This weekend, Union County will host its first cross country meet of the year, serving as a preview to what we can possibly expect for the county championships in two weeks.
The Southern Tees Challenge, formally the East Union/Myrtle Challenge, will take place at BNA Bank Park, bringing in 21 local teams for the event.
“We have a lot of local 3A and 4A schools coming out this year, and it’s the same race like what we’ve done in the past with the Myrtle/East Union Challenge, we just added a sponsor this year,” East Union coach Nathan McLellen said.
“With 21 teams, we’re expecting roughly 400 kids competing, so we’re looking to have a good day.”
This year’s race will include some of the best teams in the area, as well as all of the Union County schools and Hickory Flat. The morning will start with the varsity races at 9 and 9:30 a.m. followed by the junior high races at 10 and 10:30 a.m.
New this year is an open 5K for any parents, coaches or other adults to run in, along with a one-mile fun run for children up to sixth grade.
“We’ve got a lot of local runners in the area, and they do not have the opportunity to run on a cross country course, so by adding the 5K, we’re giving them that experience,” McLellen said.
“Along with the 5K is the children’s fun run, and we chose to add that because these younger kids are the future of the sport. This is a great chance to get them interested in running.”
McLellen and East Union will also host the Union County Championships on Oct. 15, and said this race will help the schools see where they are in preparation for that race as well as the state meet in November.
“The best thing about this course in New Albany is that it’s a pretty fast course, much like what we’re all going to run at state,” he said. “The country race will be at East Union, so it will be a lot different, but this is still a good chance for all of us to run against each other and see what we’re up against for the county championships.”
If you would like to run in the open 5K, registration will take place before the 11 a.m. race, and the cost to run is $10. The one-mile fun run will start after the 5K at 11:30 a.m. Also, there will be a $5 charge for parking for the event.