December 13, 2016
By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
The Central Magnet School girls cross country team has formed a sisterhood they will never lose, according to coach Allen Nichols.
Nichols made that comment Dec. 6 while speaking in front of the Rutherford County Board of Education, which recognized the members of the team for winning the 2016 State Cross Country Championship for Division I Class A-AA.
“This state championship, as a lifelong resident of Rutherford County, was incredibly special for me because these young ladies were happy to not only represent Central Magnet School but (also) our county,” Nichols said. “It looks like, according to history, this is only the second team championship for cross country for our county and we’re really excited that Central Magnet has both of those.”
The Central Magnet School high school boys won the team championship in 2013. In addition, Central has three individual cross country championship titles: Claudia Smith-2013, Taylor Cuneo-2014, Taylor Cuneo-2015.
Central Principal Dr. John Ash also expressed his admiration for the students.
“I do encourage you if you get a chance to come by school and meet these young ladies individually,” Ash told Board members. “Obviously they can run but beyond that, what is much more impressive is their character. When you talk to them they all have great future plans. They all are very focused on what they want to be and how they are going to get there and they’re just a pleasure to be around.”
Seven students from the team served as representatives at the School Board meeting: Cuneo, Kerrigan Walls, Morgan Ouellette, Emma Harris, Abby Graves, Camille Smith and Anna Waldecker.
"I’ve never had a harder working group of individuals than I’ve had with these seven young ladies,” Nichols said. “All of our seniors together have over a 30 average on their ACT. They’ve taken more AP classes in their first two years of high school than most students do in their entire high school career.”
Nichols added that it was touching to watch the student-athletes hoist the championship trophy onto the podium after the state championship meet in November.
“These young ladies are sisters for life now, and they will always have these memories,” Nichols concluded. “I could not be happier for them.”
PHOTO / JAMES EVANS
From left, Morgan Ouellette, Anna Waldecker, Camille Smith, Abby Graves, Kerrigan Walls, Taylor Cuneo, Emma Harris and coach Allen Nichols show off their trophy for winning the 2016 State Cross Country Championship for Division I Class A-AA.