BRISTOL, Tenn. – Allen Gregory | Bristol Herald Courier - Sep. 23, 2018
Catherine Grossman has charted out a busy fall schedule.
In addition to competing in cross country, the Patrick Henry junior is playing travel soccer with a Southwest Virginia-based team.
“I’m hoping to better myself in each sport,” Grossman said.
Adjusting to the hills, the morning heat and a diverse field of 179 competitors, Grossman finished sixth at Bristol Cross with a time of 20 minutes and 38.8 seconds.
“I’m pretty happy with that,” Grossman said. “I was hoping to get in the top seven, and I achieved that goal.”
Grossman also sliced 20 seconds off her Bristol Cross time last year.
“I haven’t really heard of some of the schools in the meet today, but the large field motivated me to do my best,” Grossman said.
David Crockett senior Taylor Roy was certainly motivated. Leading from start to finish, Roy posted a time of 19:04.2. Knoxville Catholic junior Eleanor Mancini was a distant second at 19:24.4.
Roy’s original plan was to shadow Mancini, who was within 40 yards of the lead within the first mile. Roy then ended the suspense.
“I was ahead, so I just ran my own race after that,” Roy said. “The heat wasn’t an issue for me. We train in the hot weather all the time and we usually run on the road. I just tried to ignore my surroundings and run my race.”
Roy entered the day with a lofty goal.
“This is a really hard course, but I was hoping to get into the 18’s,” Roy said.
The large fan contingent cheered loudly as Roy summoned the energy for a mad dash to the finish line.
“My time was 18:20 with about 300 yards left,” she said. “I told myself that I was going to make it so I pushed the rest of the way. I credit my success to my team. We’re hoping to qualify for the state meet.”
Knoxville-based Hardin Valley Academy took the team title with a score of 48. Daniel Boone (69) and David Crockett (93) rounded out the top three.
A three-time qualifier to the state cross country meet, Roy said she has attracted recruiting interest from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga along with UT-Martin, Tennessee Tech and King University.
“The best I’ve finished at state is 19th. I’m hoping to finish in the top 10 and make all-state this year,” Roy said.
Abingdon finished 12th in the 25-team girls field, with Tennessee High (16th) and Sullivan East (17th) close behind.
As for Grossman, the day had a different feel. Her brother Gavin, who compiled a sterling resume as a distance runner at PH, now attends the College of William and Mary where he competes in Ultimate Frisbee and studies computer science.
“It’s different not having Gavin on the team to be like a role model for me. I feel like I kind of have to step into the place that he filled,” Grossman said.
Catherine Grossman finished second the past two years in the Virginia High School League Class 1 cross country meet. In the state track and field meets, she recorded victories at in the 1,600 and 3,200 as a freshman before settling for second in both events last spring.
Grossman, a midfielder, also helped the Patrick Henry coed soccer team advance to the Class 1 quarterfinal last year before falling to eventual state champion Galax. She currently travels the Southeast with the Southwest Virginia Rush travel team, which practices in Abingdon and draws players from throughout the region.
“We lost a lot of seniors in soccer, but we’re hoping to come back strong,” Grossman said. “The endurance required for running helps with soccer. I want to focus more on soccer for college, but I wouldn’t want to cut out running. A lot of kids focus on one sport now. I like the balance I have.”
Sullivan Central senior Maci Cloninger finished in the No. 40 spot at 22:43, with Abingdon senior Kimberly Large two positions behind.