Warren XC sophomore having team impact

A year ago at this time, Trent Sayre was on the Warren freshmen football roster.

He donned the number 19.

Last winter, Sayre wrestled in the 126-pound weight class on the Jim Rhodes-coached Warriors wrestling squad.

In the spring, he was running on the 4×800 relay team competing in the regional meet at Athens High (the foursome did not advance to state). His coach was Al Riffey.

Sayre is an all-around athlete.

So much so that currently he’s running cross country for the Neil Brague-led Warren harriers, who swept both the boys and girls divisions Saturday morning at the 30th Scenic Hills Lions Club Invite.

What happened to football?

“Football just wasn’t the sport for me,” said Sayre after placing third overall in the Scenic Hills boys’ race in a clocking of 17 minutes, 39.3 seconds.

“I wanted to try something different. Cross country was there for me. Wrestling helped me get in shape.”

Sayre said he’s probably going to compete at 138 on the mat in his sophomore year. And, running cross country will certainly get him in shape for wrestling.

“That’s the plan,” said Sayre, smiling.

Sayre made his varsity XC debut in the Elizabeth S. Broughton Memorial Invitational 5k boys’ race August 27 at the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Area. There, he covered the distance in 18:01.40, good for sixth place. Just ahead of him was Warrior teammate Jake Herriott, who finished in 17:48.30.

Herriott, incidentally, also was a leg on the same relay team in the spring.

Now, Herriott and Sayre, both sophomores, are rapidly becoming Warren’s “one-two punch,” respectively, on the XC race course.

“Jake’s a good partner,” Sayre said. “He pushes me in practice a lot, and that’s one of my goals this year to keep up with him or pass him once in awhile.”

Last year, it was Herriott “doing the pushing” and trying to keep up with then-senior Brent Ash, a cross country state qualifier.

At Scenic Hills, Herriott was a contender before the race to win it, but after the gun sounded couldn’t keep up with frontrunner Conner Wolfe of Southern, who led from start to finish.

“(Wolfe) is a good runner, and I have a lot of respect for him,” Herriott said. “That’s kind of his game plan (going out fast). Even back in track, he started out fast. I didn’t want to burn myself out too early, so I didn’t go with him.”

Herriott maintained his own pace with Sayre not too far behind. Then, late in the run, he pulled away and crossed the finish line in second place.

Shortly thereafter, Sayre placed third.

“This is Trent’s first season of cross,” Herriott said. “I give props to him. He’s pulling out crazy times for his first year.”

Herriott paused and grinned.

“I’m scared he’s going to get me one day,” Herriott said.

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at (740)373-2121, x534, or at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com