Baylor's Simon Holden Qualifies For FootLocker Nationals

Red Raider Senior Finishes Ninth At Charlotte In Personal-Best 15:04

Saturday, November 24, 2012 - by Special To The Chattanoogan.com

Simon Holden didn't come in first place, but he had his fastest cross country race ever Saturday morning in Charlotte, N.C. when he finished ninth in the FootLocker South Regional race here at McAlpine Park.

Holden had been trying to break 16 minutes all fall and did so in a smashing fashion Saturday with a time of 15:04.  Maybe it's somewhat ironic that the last four digits of Holden's cell phone are 1-5-0-4.

"I went out hard because coach Gautier told me I needed to do that if I wanted to do well," Holden said via his cell phone after the race had ended.

"I was in the lead group, but got passed as we went up this long hill.  I wasn't worried because I knew I could catch them on the downhill.  At that point, I was just trying to hold my spot.

"People were cheering for me as we started the final mile and that helped, but I was just trying to keep my legs moving at that point.  I knew I was going to break 16.

"There was a lot more pressure in today's race just to qualify for the nationals, but now I can relax a little and just enjoy the experience in two weeks," he added.

Holden will be headed to Balboa Park in San Diego on Dec. 8 for the FootLocker National Championship, but he was headed to the U.S. National Whitewater Center with his father and grandfather to do a little kayaking before heading to Atlanta later Saturday night.

"Simon went out in the lead group, but the leader was well ahead after the first mile," coach Jan Gautier recalled, noting that Holden passed that first mile around 4:30.

"He was 17th at the halfway point and just kept moving up.  His highest place was seventh.

"I'm so proud of Simon as he's been working all year for this race.  It all fell into place for him today as this has been one of his main goals.  I don't think I've ever seen him as nervous as he was before it started, but he ran a perfect race," Gautier praised.

Sean McGorty, a speedster from Virginia, was the overall winner in 14:28, which just happens to be a course record.

Baylor's John Carlson posted a personal-best time of 17:49 in the freshman race on Saturday.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)

 


McCallie Wins Big Over McMinn County

McCallie won their second straight game on Friday with a 49-6 win over McMinn County.   McCallie's high powered offence scores all 49 points in the first half.   Paul Silverblat scored on a 57 yard pass from JaVaughn Craig and on a 44 yard run.  Alex Trotter scored on a seven yard run and a 19 yard run.  Craig also scored on a 23 yard run.   ... (click for more)

CCS Football Earns Second Straight Shutout

The Chattanooga Christian School Charger defense earned their second shutout of the season with a 43-0 win over Lookout Valley.  The Charger defense held Lookout Valley to 132 total yards and scored twice.  The Charger defense scored a safety on a bad snap by Lookout Valley and Philip Sneller recovered a Lookout Valley fumble in the endzone for another defensive ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)