Sullivan County's Kelby Mullen is a veteran cross-country racer. The senior qualified for states his first three years running and earned has earned two medals there.

Maybe that's why he's not too worried about the new classifications for the District IV race.

"Not really," Mullen said if he's going to change his strategy any this year. "As it looks Sam (Williams) and Curt (Jewett) are going to be out front and from there third to fifth is going to be a toss up. Even sixth and seventh if Northeast does end up winning, which I should have a good chance at."

Only five individuals will be qualifying for the state meet this year instead of 10 like in years past.

"There are still a lot of good runners out there," explained Mullen. "It seems tougher going only down to top five now. I know there's a lot of good competition again, I'm just trying to hang in there."

His goal is to be right behind the top two from Northeast.

"Hopefully top three at districts, then just medal at states," Mullen said. "Hopefully better than that but that would the least."

Going into the final leg of the season the Griffin feels good about how he's running but isn't sure yet how to react to this being his last year competing for Sullivan County.

"I'll definitely miss it when it comes down to it," Mullen explained. "It kind of sucks because the weeks are getting closer to the end. It's all kind of sneaking up on me fast."

The senior has two other sports before the school year is through and throws himself totally into each season.

"It's a big part of my life when it comes to the season," Mullen said about cross country. "You have to be pretty dedicated. when it's basketball and baseball I just focus on that."

As for running in college, Mullen is undecided.

"I really haven't quite figured that out," he admitted. "But I'm looking at it."