The Lady Devils made their second ever first place finish a dozy. Swain did the improbable and unthinkable by outdistancing the rest of the conference and taking Swain High’s first ever Smoky Mountain Conference Championship in women’s cross country.
It didn’t come easy for Swain. Hayesville was determined not give up their strangle hold on the
conference cross country scene. The Jackets got off to a fast start, and one mile into the 3.1 mile course it appeared the Lady Devils dream would become a nightmare. All 5 scoring Yellow Jacket runners were in front of Swain’s number three.
But champions are born of hard work, effort, and heart. Heart played the biggest factor for Swain, who got their usual solid performances from top runners Blair Allman and Lauren Shell. Number three runner Autumn Demonet put on a dramatic charge passing black jerseys along the way with teammates Erin Zwick and Tori Swartz right behind her. Their charge made the difference as the Lady Devils scored, what has to be a school record 29 points, on their way to the historic win.
Allman and Shell finished sixth and seventh overall, with times of 23:11 and 23:12. Demonet finished,, a season best 11th place in a time of 23:58, while Zwick was right behind in 12th place with a time of 24:00, and Swartz finished 15th with a time of 24:15.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this group,” says first year head coach Philip Latter. “Not a single girl on this team ran cross country last year and today they’re conference champions. It’s really a testament to their work ethics and belief in themselves and the system we’ve put in place here. Most of the girls have committed since the summer, and it really showed today.”
Hayesville was second with 42 points, Murphy was next with 54 points.