Highlights of Cross Country History

Darnall named 2013 All-West Tennessee Male Runner of the Year

USJ junior Sam Darnall was named The Jackson Sun’s 2013 All-West Tennessee Male Runner of the Year.

He won the Division II-A state meet in Nashville with a time of 16:47. He achieved a personal record with a 16:16 finish at the TCA Invitational in September. He beat that time and earned another personal record with a blazing 16:07 finish at the Footlocker Championships in North Carolina in November.

“You’ve got to have goals to always improve, and that’s something our coach – Arthur Priddy – does a good job for us,” Sam said. “He does a good job of setting goals for us, and he helps us meet those goals."

Men's team finishes strong at State, Sam Darnall takes first overall

From right, Coach Arthur Priddy, Patrick Richardson, Chris Burton, Sam Darnall, Govind Bindra, Jack Goodwin, Whitson Smith, Will Rickman, and Sam Rickman at the state tournament in Nashville.

The 2013 cross country team finished its season at the State Championship on November 2 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The men’s team placed third overall.

Sam Darnall finished first, and Jack Goodwin finished 10th. Both received All-State honors.

For the Lady Bruins, Samantha Sullivan finished fifth and received All-State honors.

Sam Darnall and Samantha Sullivan.

2012 Season

2012 Cross Country All-State Athletes

Kayla Puzdrakiewicz, 8th grade
Samantha Sullivan, 10th grade
Jessica Garland, 11th gradeJack Goodwin, 9th grade
Sam Darnall, 10th grade
Patrick Richardson, 11th grade

Jackson Sun Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year

Although she has not started high school, Kayla Puzdrakiewicz is already making a name for herself as a high school athlete. She was named the Jackson Sun’s 2012 Female Cross Country Runner of the year.

With a time of 20:20, Kayla placed third in the TSAA Division II-A State Cross Country meet and she was the only eighth grader in the field of 58 runners. Her fast time helped the Lady Bruins team take third overall in the state competition. Among her other accomplishments for 2012 was when she ran a personal best time of 19:40 in the Frank Horton Invitational in Memphis in September.

2012 University of Alabama Crimson Classic Champions

FootLocker Cross Country National Championships

For most Tennessee high school cross country runners, the season ends with the Regional meet. For a select few, the season continues on towards the State Championships.

However, for three USJ high school cross country athletes, the season ended on November 24, a beautiful fall morning in Charlotte, North Carolina, at McAlpine Creek Park. Kayla Puzdrakiewicz, Jack Goodwin, and Sam Darnall traveled with a group of athletes as a part of the West TN Track Club to compete in the 2012 FootLocker South Region Cross Country Championships. The meet, which is part of the FootLocker Cross Country National Championships qualification, is widely considered as the most competitive meet in the nation.

Kayla, an 8th grader at USJ, competed in the girls 13 year old and 14 year old division in the 3K race. With her 16th place finish Kayla was named to the Footlocker All-South team. This is the first time any athlete from USJ competing in this meet has been named to the All-South team.

“It was great race for Kayla to compete in because she learned so much about racing and about how to handle the extra pressure of traveling and racing on a new course. She had such a successful season, and learned so many good lessons, I am very proud of her,” said Coach Chris Winter.

Jack Goodwin, 9th grade, and Sam Darnall, 10th grade, both competed in their respective grade divisions in the 5K race. Both were able to race not only their fastest 5K cross country times of the season, but also their fastest times ever. Jack finished in 17:25, a 15-second improvement over his time at State, and Sam, completed the race in 17:08, a 22-second improvement over his time from the State meet. “The guys were out their to run fast times today, and boy did they do it,” said Coach Winter.

Coach Winter also competed in the open division race. He was able to hold off the first female finisher and complete the race in 17:15. “I have run a lot faster on that course before but I never have had more fun racing on it. I knew that if I did not beat the first female then the guys and Kayla would give me a hard time. Wow, it was hard holding her off, she was fast," said Coach Winter.

All in all, the trip was fun and a great learning experience for the young Bruins. Kayla, Jack, and Sam are all under classmen, and combined with the firepower the Bruins and Lady Bruins bring back next year, the future looks bright. “I tell the team that the real purpose of running is not winning, or setting personal records, but that the true purpose is to test the limits of the human heart. I try to teach them to do the best they can. On the day, Kayla, Jack, and Sam did that, it was so much fun watching them race," said Coach Winter.

Bruins Finish season as State Runners Up

By the time the 2012 DII-A state meet was over the USJ Bruins boys cross country team knew they did something no other team before them had done.

"I knew we were for sure going to finish in the top 3, the question was whether or not it was 2nd or 3rd," said Coach Winter.

Running their best team race of the year Sam Darnall, Jack Goodwin, Patrick Richardson, Govind Bindra, Chris Burton, Charles Woodside, and Jourdan Redden could only wait as the meet announcer cited the results.

"We had already placed Sam, Jack, and Patrick on the All State team so when the director announced us as the second place team all the guys could really celebrate," said Coach Winter.

For the Bruins, who have won several meets this season, the TCA Invite, Alabama Crimson Classic, and Regionals, second place at the state meet was more rewarding than any of those victories.

"What the team did today is a testament to their consistent hard work in the off season. We had a fun year and it is great to see their hard work pay off," said Coach Winter.

The Bruins will hold their End of Year Awards dinner on November 18 at the home of Bill and Mitzi Richardson.

Lady Bruins Take 3rd at State Meet

Heading into the State Meet the Lady Bruins had one thing in mind: beating St. George's and St. Mary's. "I asked both teams to write down their goals for state and give them to me. Every single girl wrote or stated that they wanted to beat those two teams," said Coach Winter, "so when the girls heard they finished 3rd and also beat both those schools you would have thought they won the meet."

By placing three runners in the top 15 and on the All State team (Kayla Puzdrakiewicz, Samantha Sullivan, and Jessica Garland) the team got off to a fast start. Anchored by the strong finishes of Ali Graham, Anna Garrett, Haley Hall, and Amanda Holloway the girls were able to secure third overall, capping an exciting finish to an up and down year.

"For the girls to come to this race and perform the way they did after the up and down season they had just makes me so proud of them. We were hampered by injuries and sickness all season and to see everything come together for them at the most important meet of the season is extremely satisfying," said Coach Winter.

Like the boys team, the girls have all of their top 7 runners returning but one. Anna Garrett will graduate after participating in cross country for two seasons. "It has been a joy to coach the seniors. Anna and Jourdan (from the boys team) gave it their best all season. They will be missed and we look forward to seeing them use the experience and knowledge they gained as student-athletes at USJ in the future," said Coach Winter.

The girls will reconvene on November 18 at the home of Bill and Mitzi Richardson for the End of Year Awards Dinner.

5k Cross Country, Percy Warner Park Nashville, TN

Bruins Individual Results
• Sam Darnall - 5th, 17:30
• Jack Goodwin - 6th, 17:40
• Patrick Richardson - 10th, 17:51
• Govind Bindra - 19th, 18:28
• Chris Burton - 31st, 19:24
• Charles Woodside - 33rd, 19:37
• Jourdan Redden - 36th, 19:43

Lady Bruin Individual Results
• Kayla P - 3rd, 20:20
• Samantha Sullivan - 8th, 21:06
• Jessica Garland - 14th, 21:41
• Ali Graham - 36th, 24:05
• Anna Garrett - 38th, 24:15
• Haley Hall - 45th, 24:57
• Amanda Holloway - 56th, 27:35

Bruins Capture Region Title

By placing seven runners in the top 25 at the DII-A West Region Championships, the Bruin Cross Country earned its first region title under Coach Winter. "It was a total team effort today, the boys had the mentality of 'whatever it takes," said Coach Winter.

Leading the charge for the Bruins were Sam Darnall, 2nd overall, Patrick Richardson, 4th overall, and Jack Goodwin, 5th overall. Running on a course that it ten times as hard as the state meet course the Bruins proved that they are in top form at the most important time of the year. "While our top 3 did a fantastic job, our 4,5,6, an 7 runners stepped up tremendously today," said Coach Winter, "with out the efforts of Govind Bindra,12th, Chris Burton 16th, Charles Woodside 19th, and Jourdan Redden 22nd, we would not have come away with the title."

Lady Bruins are headed for State

On a day that saw temperatures in the mid 80s the Lady Bruin Cross Country team dug deep and placed three runners in the top 10 and qualified for the state meet by finishing 3rd as a team with 58 points. St.Georges won with 53 points and St. Mary's was second with 57 points. This was the second year in a row the Lady Bruins finished third in the team event, and 6th year in a row the team has qualified for State. Leading the way for the young Lady Bruin team was 8th grader Kayla Puzdrakiewicz. She captured the Individual Regional title. This is the 5th time in six years that the Lady Bruins have won the individual regional title. "I knew she was capable of winning it," said Coach Winter, "she has had some strong efforts this year." Samantha Sullivan, 5th overall, and Jessica Garland, 9th overall rounded out the top 10 finishers for the Lady Bruins. With the remainder of the team finishing in a tight cluster — Haley Hall, 21st; Ali Graham, 22nd; and Anna Garrett, 23rd — the Lady Bruins secured their place to compete for the state title. Amanda Holloway rounded out the finishers for the team in 51st place.

Bruins and Lady Bruins Compete in 3 meets in 8 days

Recently, the Bruin and Lady Bruin cross country teams completed a racing schedule that saw them race in three meets in eight days. Beginning in Memphis, TN at the nationally competitive Brooks Twilight Meet and finishing in Memphis, TN at the T.O. Fuller Invite with the USJ Invite sandwiched in between, the teams gained valuable raing experience that will greatly benefit them at the Regional Championships on October 25 in Memphis, TN at T.O Fuller State Park

Lady Bruins Improve 10 places at Brooks Twilight

Heading into the Brooks Twilight Classic the Lady Bruins knew they were up against some of the best runners in the nation. However, this did not stop them from finishing in 22nd place as a team in the 40 team field. This was a 10 place improvement over the teams performance last year. Led by the 1-2 punch of Puzdrakiewicz and Sullivan the Lady Bruins not only improved upon last years effort but also out performed all the other teams in their division.

When asked about the teams effort Coach Winter said, " I think the girls are a bit disappointed with their times. With such hot and humid conditions running a fast time was hard though. However, we competed well and their times do not reflect their fitness levels, it was just to windy and humid and hot to run fast. I am proud of the effort we gave."

Bruins Struggle at Brooks

While the Lady Bruins improved the Bruins proved that their is work left to be done. With senior Jacob Lifesy sitting out due to illness and junior Patrick Richardson struggling with a severe side stitch for 2 miles of the race the Bruins did what they could. Racing under the same conditions as the girls team the Bruins struggled to hit the time marks they wanted, however, Sophomore Sam Darnall and Freshman Jack Goodwin led the way with encouraging early season performances indicating that the team as a whole can run fast when all the small things fall into place.

Coach Winter said that, "We had some key guys struggle today. Bindra, Richardson, and Redden were really hurting and for whatever reason were just not on their "A" game today. However, it's a long season and I would rather us struggle tonight than in October when it matters most. I think we did what we could on the night, sometimes for whatever reason, the legs just don't have that pop they need. Sometimes is good to struggle, it's good to know that you will have to hurt and endure pain in order to get what you want, we learned that tonight"

Second Place Sweep at Hot and Humid USJ Invite

Despite the almost unbearable temperatures the Bruins and Lady Bruins both finished in second place in the 16 team category.  With temps reaching 100 degrees USJ was able to place two girls in the top 4 and finish behind AAA powerhouse Bolton High School. "We had some girls struggle in the heat today, I think Jessica Garland and Anna Garrett did the best they could but it was just to hot for them to run the types of races they are capable of," said Head Coach Chris Winter. Once again the team was led by eighth grader Kayla Puzrdakiewicz who recorded a great effort of 21:25 on the slightly long course.

The boys were able to hold onto second place behind the solid efforts of All State runners Sam Darnall and Patrick Richardson. "I was very happy to see Patrick have a good race today, he really is not even that great of a hot weather runner so what he did today was even that much more remarkable," says Coach Winter.

1-2 for Sullivan and Puzdrakiewicz at TO Fuller Invite

Once again Samantha Sullivan and Kayla Puzdrakiewicz brought home a 1-2 finish. Racing on the course the team will compete on to qualify for state, the girls proved that the off season work they have done works. Running side by side the entire way the girls crossed the line 1:06 ahead of the nearest finisher from St. Mary's out of Memphis. They were the only girls racing for the Lady Bruins today.

"It was very important for the girls to race today. They got to preview the regional course and learn how to race it," said Coach Winter.

Sam Darnall and Jack Goodwin raced as well.  Despite never before racing on this course and competing in a race just two days before Sam and Jack raced at a level that indicates that they have the strength to run fast on tired legs. "The winner  of this race from MUS did not even break 18 mins and he is a 4:25 miler, that's how tough this course is. I am very pleased with the effort Sam and Jack gave, they got out fast, got into a rythm and finished fast," said Coach Winter.

West TN Cross Country Jamboree

The Bruin and Lady Bruin Cross Country teams opened up their 2012 campaign with excellent races at the West TN Cross Country Jamboree. Running on a cool summer morning at Jackson State Community College, both squads posted times and places that are indicative of solid early season form.

LADY BRUINS LED BY 1-2 Finish of Puzdrakiewicz and Sullivan

The Lady Bruins were led by eighth grader Kayla Puzdrakiewicz. Covering the 2-mile course in 11:49 seconds, Kayla finished first among the 99 competitors. Finishing second for the team and 2nd overall in the race in a time of 13:10 was Samantha Sullivan. Sullivan is coming into her second year of high school cross country after a solid freshman campaign in which she finished as an All-State runner (6th overall in the TSSAA DII-A State meet).

Jessica Garland and Ali Graham rounded out the other two top 15 finishers for the Lady Bruins. Garland, finishing 6th overall, ran the course in 13:20. Garland is also coming off a strong 2011 season in which she too was named to the All-State cross country team. Like Garland, Graham is competing in her 3rd consecutive year of cross country and is making great strides. Finishing 15th overall in the race and in a time of 14:16, Graham put the stamp down on the Lady Bruins domination of the Jamboree, by claiming 15th overall just strides before the finish line.

Haley Hall, Anna Garrett, and Bailey Howell improved dramatically this year. Hall and Garrett, running side by side the entire race, finished in the same time (14:59) and in 22nd and 23rd place respectively. This was a 45-second improvement from last year's jamboree. Hall and Garrett running in their second season give the team the added boost of competitiveness that it will need to compete for the state title this season. Howell, one of three seniors on the girls team, rounded out the finishers for the Lady Bruins. Howell ran a personal best for 2 miles of 18:18. Grace Woodside, coming off recent ACL surgery, did not compete in this race.


Sam Darnall (3rd), Govind Bindra (8th), and Patrick Richardson (9th) paced the Bruins to a strong team effort at the Jamboree. Darnall finished just 10 seconds behind the race leaders. After coming through one mile in 5:11, Darnall ran the second half of the race in 5:00 to cap off a strong start to the 2012 season. Bindra and Richardson both ran strong second halves of the race, as well clocking 10:59 each for the 2-mile course. Freshman Jack Goodwin opened up his 2012 season with an 11:16, 17th-place finish after struggling with a sore hip the week of the race. Rounding out the top five finishers for the Bruins was Senior Jourdan Redden. Redden ran the 2-mile course in 11:33 and finished in 25th place out of 133 runners.

Jacob Lifesy, Charles Woodside, William, Butler, Whitson Smith, and Sam Rickman all had strong efforts as well. Lifesy, a senior for the Bruins, came in just strides after Redden, in a time of 11:44. Woodside, competing in his first season, covered the 2-mile course in a solid time of 11:56. Smith, Butler, and Rickman rounded out the finishers of the Bruins by all running their fastest times ever for the 2-mile in high school cross country. Newcomer, Tyler Wiley was sidelined with severe shin pain for this race.

The Bruins and Lady Bruins will be in action again at the Brooks Twilight Classic Meet on September 1, at 7 p.m. The meet is held at the Mike Rose Soccer complex and brings in some of the best competition in the Southeast.

2011 Season

Two Athetes Compete at Footlocker South Region Cross Country Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina

On Saturday, November 26, 2011 USJ freshman Sam Darnall and USJ sophmore Patrick Richardson competed in the seeded boys division at the Footlocker South Region Cross Country Championships qualifying race. The Footlocker Cross Country Championships serves as the National Cross Country Championship race for the entire country. First known as the Kinney Cross Country Championships, the Footlocker race has served as the proving grounds for future NCAA DI national champions, World Champions, and Olympic Champions. 

The south region championships is one of four region championships in which runners from across the United States and Puerto Rico compete to qualify for the national champtionship race held in San Diego, California.  For the past four years USJ has been represented at the Footlocker South Region race in Charlotte, N.C.  The top ten finishers in the seeded races qualify for the national championships.

Racing against mostly juniors and seniors from ten different states, Sam and Patrick capped off their prospective seasons with much to build on for next year. When asked about the race, and Patrick and Sam's efforts, USJ Head Coach Chris Winter responded, "This race is the single most competitive race (outside of nationals) that any USJ runner could enter. Today, Sam and Partick gained perspective and maturity that they can use next season as our boys and girls teams compete.  In a race like this, that is one with so many upper classmen, Sam and Patrick's main objective was to learn how to stay calm and think while racing in the midst of a huge, fast field. They obviously wanted to run fast, but more importantly, they gained maturity as runners that will translate into a valuable tool next year. The winning time was 14:37, and there are probably 10 high school kids in the whole nation who can run that fast."

The entire USJ cross country team enters the off season with next season in mind. "Some of our kids play basketball so that helps them stay fit and competitive, but the majority of the team will begin preparing for track season that starts in February, 2012," says Coach Chris. "With the enthusiasm and unity that our team developed last season, I can not wait for next year."

The complete results of the Footlocker South Region Championship race can be found at www.footlockercc.com under the south region tab.

Pictured above to the left: Patrick Richardson, Coach Winter, and Sam Darnell. 

Four USJ athletes make All-State Cross Country Team

On November 5, 2011, the Bruin and Lady Bruin cross country teams competed at Percy Warner Park in Nashville at the DII-A State Cross Country Championships.
Out of a field of eight teams the Lady Bruins finished 5th while the Bruins finished 6th.

Samantha Sullivan, Jessica Garland, Ali Graham, Haley Hall, Anna Garrett, Jessica Crosnoe, and Bailey Howell represented the girls team.
The boys team was represented by Patrick Richardson, Sam Darnall, Jacob Hamilton, Jacob Lifsey, Govind Bindra, Jordan Redden, and Chris Burton.

The Lady Bruins were led by freshman Samantha Sullivan.  Sullivan, competing in her first season of cross country and in her first state cross country championship race, finished in 6th place overall in a time of 20:48.  This was a 2:12 second improvement upon the time she previously ran this season on the same course at the Tennessee Classic. Sullivan was also the highest finishing athlete from the city of Jackson in either boys or girls competition in any division at the state meet. Her 6th place performance earned her a spot on the DII-A All State girls cross country team.

Jessica Garland was also named to the DII-A girls state cross country team. In only her second season of competition, Garland improved on her time from last year's state meet by a full 60 seconds and by 1:25 from the Tennessee Classic she competed in earlier this season by running a 21:40 for the hilly and challenging 5k course. 

The Bruins were led by underclassmen Patrick Richardson and Sam Darnall. Richardson, competing in his second season of cross country battled back from early season set backs due to sickness to finish off his sophomore year with a 7th place, 17:58 All-State effort. This time is a 12-second improvement on his time at this meet last year and a 1:20 improvement on his time at the Tennessee Classic meet raced six weeks ago.  This is Patrick's second season in a row to be named to the All-State cross country team.

Freshman runner Sam Darnall capped off an impressive first season for the Bruins by finishing the state meet in 9th place by running 18:03. Sam's effort at the state meet was a 43 second improvement upon his time run on the same course earlier this season at the Tennessee Classic.

"Today was one of the most successful and exciting days for USJ at the state cross country meet," said varsity cross country coach Chris Winter. "Although we did not reach our team goals of finishing in the top 4, we were able to place 4 underclassmen on the All State team. Not only is this a testament to the hard work of those individuals, but also to everyone else on our team. All the runners that made the All-State team were encouraged and supported and spurred on by their team mates all season long. The future for USJ cross country looks strong." I would like to personally thank both teams for one of the most fun and competitive season's of coaching that I have ever had in my seven years at USJ.  And I would like to say thanks to graduating seniors Jacob Hamilton, Angad Bindra, Habeeb Suara, and Jessica Crosnoe.  We wish you the best and thank you for your hard work and commitment to the USJ cross country program."

The teams will conclude their season with their annual Awards Dinner at the home of Charlie and Cathy Garrett..

Region Meet finishes send USJ teams to state

On October 27, the Bruins and Lady Bruins cross country teams competed in the DII-A West Region Cross Country Meet at USJ. Needing to finish in the top 4 as a team to qualify for the state meet in Nashville on November 5, the Bruins and Lady Bruins finished 4th and 3rd respectively and earned their spots in the state championship cross country meet.

The Lady Bruins finished 3rd out of 7 schools. The Lady Bruins scored 67 points and were edged out of second by St. Georges with 62 and out of first by Harding Academy, which scored 61 points.  Leading the way for the Lady Bruins was freshman Samantha Sullivan, who finished second overall in her first year of competing in cross country. Jessica Garland was 6th, Ali Graham 19th, Haley Hall 20th, and Anna Garrett 24th. Jessica Crosnoe and Bailey Howell also competed for USJ. All of these girls will represent USJ at the state meet.

"Our team got the job done today," says head coach Chris Winter. "I could not be prouder of all the girls. Every single one of them ran one of their fastest, if not fastest time ever. With over half of the team competing in their first ever season of cross country and no seniors in our top 5. the future looks great."

The Bruins placed three runners in the top 10. Sam Darnall, 5th, Patrick Richardson, 6th, and Jacob Hamilton, 10th, led the way for the team. Jacob Lifsey, 29th, and Govind Bindra, 30th, finished as the teams 4th and 5th runners and helped the boys edge out St. Georges by 3 points for the 4th and final spot to state. Jordan Redden and Chris Burton also ran and will compete in the state meet as well.

"Like the girls, most of the boys ran their fastest times of the year," Coach Winter says. "We have been struggling with sickness these past two weeks so today was a bit nerve racking, but our boys ran with heart and determination and hung close as a pack. With only one senior in the top five, it looks like we will be competitive for next season as well. I am very proud of them and excited for the team." 

Dyer County Invitational - 2011

The USJ Bruins are the 2011 Dyer County Cross Country Invitational Champions. Our top five scoring runners finished in the top 15 overall in the meet. Sam Darnall (4th), Govind Bindra (7th), Patrick Richardson (11th), Jacob Hamilton (12th), and Jacob Lifsey (15th). Jacob Lifsey received the Anchor Award because he was the highest finishing fifth place runner from any school. Jordan Redden, Chris Burton, Christophe Nabhan, William Butler, Sam Rickman, Whitson Smith, Singh Bindra, and Habeeb Suara also competed for the Bruins. While facing a strong team from Crockett County that beat us by two points at TCA two weeks ago, the Bruins executed their race strategy with precision and accuracy. Allowing several Crockett County runners to run a fast first mile, the Bruins were able to chase them down within the last mile of the race and win their first Invitational of the season.

The Lady Bruins are the 2011 Dyer County Cross Country Invitational Runners Up. Our top five scoring runners finished in the top 15 overall in the meet. Samantha Sullivan (4th), Jessica Garland (7th), Ali Graham (10th), Haley hall (14th), Anna Garrett (15th). This is the first time this season that all five runners from the Lady Bruins have all finished in the top 15 of a meet. Jessica Crosnoe and Bailey Howell also ran for the Lady Bruins. Four out of the seven runners for the Lady Bruins (Anna Garrett, Haley Hall, Samantha Sullivan, and Jessica Crosnoe) are competing in their first season of cross country and are providing leadership and enthusiasm to a team that lost three valuable seniors last season. Along with the returning athletes from last season, Jessica Garland, Ali Graham, and Bailey Howell, the Lady Bruins are poised to finish the season off strong.

Union University Invitational - 2011

On October 1, two USJ Bruin cross country runners competed in the Union University Cross Country Invitationa.l Freshman Sam Darnall ran the 5k course in 17:38, fast enough to finish the race 6th overall.  This was Sam's second fastest time of the season. The Lady Bruins were represented by freshman Samantha Sullivan, who in only her fifth 5k cross country race, ran a personal best of 21:06 to place 5th overall.

TCA Cross Country Invite 2011

On September 27, both the men and women's cross country teams competed in the TCA Cross Country Invite.

Out of 19 mens teams, USJ placed 2nd overall. Every runner on the mens team ran their fastest times of the year. Finishing in the top 10 overall were senior Jacob Hamilton, 10th with a time of 18:05; sophomore Patrick Richardson, 9th with a time of 18:04; and leading the Bruins was freshman Sam Darnall, 5th with a time of 17:20. Govind Bindra, Jordan Redden, who received the Anchor Award for being the highest fifth place finisher for his team in the meet from any team, Jacob Lifsey, and Chris Burton rounded out the top 7 runners for USJ in the meet.

The Lady Bruins, who are running with three brand new runners this year, finished 2nd overall out of 9 competing teams. They were led by sophomore Jessica Garland, 7th with a time of 21:57; and freshman Samantha Sullivan, 8th with a time of 21:57. The Lady Bruins also ran their fastest times of the season.  Ali Graham, Haley Hall, Jessica Garrett, and Bailey Howell ran very strong races and helped the Lady Bruins to their highest finish in a meet as a team since the Lady Bruins won the DII-A West Regional Title last year.

Both teams placed 13th in Tennessee Classic 2011

The Upper School Cross Country teams traveled to Nashville on Saturday, September 17 for the TN Classic. Both teams did a great job. The Lady Bruins placed 13th out of 20 teams. The Men's team placed 13th out of 29 teams. The Bruins were paced by ninth grader Sam Darnall, who finished the challenging 5k course at Percy Warner Park in 18:46, while the Lady Bruins were paced by ninth grader Sammantha Sullivan and tenth grader Jessica Garland, who both fininshed in 23:05.

Off to a good start in 2011

The Upper School Cross Country teams have their season under way. On Saturday, September 3, both teams traveled to Memphis for the Brooks Twlight Classic. On Thursday, September 8, the teams hosted the USJ Invitational. The Men's team placed 4th out of 15 teams. Jacob Hamilton came in 10th. The Lady Bruins placed 6th out of 9 teams. Great start Bruins!

2010 Season

2010 Cross Country Runner of the Year

Audrey Hazelhurst was named the Jackson Sun's 2010 All-West Tennessee Female Cross County Runner of the Year. It was the fourth consecutive year Audrey received the honor.

2010 Regional Championship Meet

Both the boys and the girls teams qualified for the state meet in Nashville on November 6 at Percy Warner Park.

The girls are the 2010 DII-A West Regional Champions. Audrey Hazlehurst, team captain, won the regional title for the 4th year in a row, covering the hilly and challenging 5k course in 19:28. Senior Meredith Crowder finished 8th to help USJ gain the title. Ali Graham and Jessica Garland, two freshmen, finished 15th and 14th respectively. Hannah Alexander battled through an injury to finish the race. Traveling to the state meet are Audrey Hazlehurst, Meredith Crowder, Jessica Garland, Ali Graham, Kathryn McAlexander, Ally Revell, Hannah Alexander, and Bailey Howell.

The girls race was as close as it could have been. USJ tied with St. Mary's school, so the scoring went to the sixth runner for each team. Ally Revell, a brand new member of our team and first year student at USJ, beat the sixth place runner from St. Mary's, which gave us the title.

On the boys side, freshman Patrick Richardson led the way, finishing 4th overall and running a 1:15 second personal best to finish in 17:44. Jacob Hamilton also finished in the top 10.  By finishing 4th, the boys qualified for the state meet. Members of the team who will compete in the State Race are Patrick Richardson, Jacob Hamilton, who ran a season best time at Regionals, Jordan Redden, Christophe Nabhan, Warner Thomas, Whitson Smith, Govind Bindra, and Austin Rolison.

2009 Season

2009 State Runners-Up

The Girls Cross Country team was the 2009 state runner-up, placing 2nd behind Webb School of Knoxville. USJ had two runners in the top 15, Audrey Hazelhurst, who came in second for the third year in a row, and Shelby Jordan, who came in seventh. Pictured, above, from left are Coach Chris Winter, Grace Howard, alternate Honeye Heydari, Kathryn McAlexander, Shelby Jordan, Sara Muir, Audrey Hazelhurst, Meredith Crowder, and Ali Thompson. Davis Exum, the only boy to qualify to compete for USJ in the state championship, finished in the top 20 runners in the boys race. Below, Davis is front and center as USJ's state cross country team poses before the races. Coach Winter also received an award for coaching a state runner-up team.

2008 Season

2008 Girls Team

The 2008 Girls Cross Country Team finished 6th overall in the State competition, where Audrey Hazelhurst had a second-place win for the second year in a row.

2007 Season

State Cross Country Results

Freshman Audrey Hazelhurst placed second in the state in the individual cross country competition. It was Audrey's first state meet and she recorded a 20:06 on the 3.1 mile course. Overall USJ finished 11th out of the 23 teams that participated. Other team members who placed in the race included Sara Muir, Rachel McLemore, Meredith Crowder, and Paula Figuera. USJ's boys cross country meet finished 15th in the state meet.

2006 Season

Winning second in the region, the Boys 2006 Cross Country Team was eligible to go to the state meet. USJ's top runner at state was senior Billy Pacaccio. Congratulations to the whole team!

2004 Season

2004 State Meet Results

Congratulations to Ashley Evans for her 12th place finish out of 175 runners with a time of 20:02 at the state cross-country meet. This also makes her 4th consecutive year of an all state performance! 

Congratulations also go out to the boys cross-country team, which finished 15th out of 23 teams. Special recognition goes to the seniors for their incredible performances out of a total of 176 runners: Robert Egan, 16th, with a time of 16:41; Jay McLemore, 80th, with a time of 18:11; and Landon Wright, 116th, with a time of 18:53.