Friday, February 21, 2020






St. Paul’s Episcopal Boys, Girls Sweep Azalea City Classic in Mobile

AHSAA Cross Country Week 3 Spotlight

    MONTGOMERY – St. Paul’s Episcopal School’s girls’ cross country team took 6 of the top 15 spots while the boys earned 3 of the top 10 to sweep the Azalea City Classic last week. The meet drew 130 runners and 26 total teams to the Gulf Pines Golf Course USA-Brookley in Mobile.
    Those performances earned the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for Week 3 of the season.

     Both St. Paul’s squads are coached by John Brigham  (boys) and  Jim Tate (girls), who was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the National High School Hall of Fame in 2013. The Saints set a national high school record from 1983-1998 by winning 16 consecutive AHSAA state cross country championships.
     Tate, who has been coaching track and cross country at St. Paul’s for more than 40 years,  has directed Saints teams to 18 girls’, nine boys’ and one freshman girls’ AHSAA state championships and a total of 26 in  that span. In addition, a St. Paul’s has had 20 girls’ individual state champions and five boys’ individual winners. Holly Holman won five state cross country races for the Saints (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988). Teammate Jane Nettles interrupted that streak by finishing first in 1985.
      St. Paul’s boys’ team closed out the Azalea City meet with 71 points, followed by Ocean Springs, Miss., at 78 and Daphne with 97. The St. Paul’s girls won the meet with 40 points. Ocean Springs was second with 50 and McGill-Toolen with 84.
     Christian Balcer of East Central High in Moss Point, Miss., won the 5K race with a time of 16:29.99, followed by UMS-Wright’s Joseph Perry (16:42.00) and Daphne’s Ethan Rowe (16:48.51). St. Paul’s runners John Michael Romanos (16:54.18) and Mac Conwell (17:12.65) finished fourth and fifth with William Jameson’s 17:39.33 at eighth, just behind seventh-place McGill-Toolen’s Drew Roberts (17:39.10) and sixth-place Seba Bakoyema of LAMP (17:22.93).
      On the girls’ side, St. Paul’s Isabel Valenzuela won the race in 19:40.90. Her teammates in the top 15 were Katherine Rush (sixth, 22:01.74), Emily Miles (10th, 22:20.68), Macy Browning (11th, 22:29.58), Mary Howard Singleton (12th, 22:48.15) and Sarah Strickland (14th, 23:20.70).
     LAMP’s Kathy Hammond finished third with a 21:37.66 run while Anna Adams of McGill-Toolen was seventh at 22:09.78, followed by her teammate, Abby Ferlise at 22:14.64. Alondra Rangel of Baldwin County finished ninth at 22:18.47.
|     Hewitt-Trussville won the Boys’ 4A-7A race of the Pleasant Valley High School Invitational in Jacksonville, followed by Oxford, Lincoln, Pell City and Alexandria. Pell City’s Jack Lowe was the top finisher at 18:16.85, followed by Central-Clay County’s Ronald Piedra (18:48.76). Hewitt-Trussville had eight of the top 21 finishers, led by No. 9 finisher Logan Reaves (19:44.84).
    White Plains had four of the top eight runners in the Boys’ 1A-3A race to win the competition with 29 points. The Wildcats’ James Middlebrooks (17:52.95) finished first and teammate Jake Moore (18:29.28) was third. Christian Myles of Anniston finished second at 18:06.84 in the field of 108.


    Arab won the Girls competition at Pleasant Valley with 83 points. The host Raiders were second with 98. Presley Miles of St. James won the event by more than three minutes over Taylor Simmons of Donoho. Miles finished the race in 18:48.98.
    The fastest times turned in for the week came at the Chickasaw Trails Invitational at Oakville Indian Mounds Park near Moulton where more than 1,100 runners, 490 girls and 626 boys, competed. Thompson’s Jace Jones won the 5A-7A large-school race with a winning time of 15:50.93 over runner-up Ethan Strand of Vestavia Hills (15:57.21) and third-place finisher Jackson Danner of Huntsville (15:59.51). Huntsville won the boys’ competition with 71 points and Vestavia was second with 109. Cold Springs won the boys’ 1A-5A title with 109 points.
    Homewood’s Lainey Phelps won the girls’ large-school race in 18:40.68 for the best time of the week for AHSAA girls’ runners. Brentwood (TN) won the girls’ team title with 58 points and Mountain Brook was second with 149.
    Results and leaders from last week’s cross country action reported to include:

USA-Brookley Gulf Pines Course, Mobile

BOYS TEAM WINNER: St. Paul’s Episcopal 71; Ocean Springs (MS) 78; Daphne 97
1. Christian Balcer, East Central (MS)           16:29.99
2. Joseph Perry, UMS-Wright                        16:42.00
3. Ethan Rowe, Daphne                                  16:48.51
4. John Michael Romanos, St. Paul’s             16:54.18


GIRLS TEAM WINNER: St. Paul’s Episcopal 40; Ocean Springs (MS) 50; McGill-Toolen 84



1. Isabel Valenzuela, St. Paul’s Episcopal      19:40.90 1

3. Kathy Hammond, LAMP                           21:37.66 3

6. Rush, Katherine St. Paul’s Episcopal         22:01.74 6

7. Anna Adams, McGill-Toolen                      22:09.78 7

Lawrence County High (host)

Oakville Indian Mounds Park, Oakville (Total participants listed in parentheses)

LARGE SCHOOL BOYS TEAM WINNER: Huntsville 71; Vestavia Hills 109; Franklin (TN) 139
1. Jace Jones, Thompson                     15:50.93

2. Ethan Strand, Vestavia Hills           15:57.21

3. Jackson Danner, Huntsville            15:59.51

4. Walker Cole, Oak Mountain           16:01.22

SMALL SCHOOL BOYS TEAM WINNER: Cold Springs 110; St. Michael 121; American Christian 132
1. Brock Kelly, Tupelo (MS) Chr.      16:29.09

3. Raleigh Stamps, Rogers                  17:17.89

4. Ethan Lemons, Vinemont               17:37.16

5. John Bridges, American Christian  17:45.63

LARGE SCHOOL GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Brentwood (TN) 58; Mtn Brook 146; Homewood 167

1. Lainey Phelps, Homewood            18:40.68

3. Crawford West, Vestavia Hills       19:06.48

4. Adley Burkes, Central-PC              19:20.85

7. Reagan Riley, Mtn Brook               19:45.49



SMALL SCHOOL GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Westminster-Oak Mtn 58; American Christian 111; Cold Springs 160

1. Camilla Chambers, Holly Pond      19:36.20

2. Hannah Adams, Westminster-OM  19:48.08

3. Yarahy Marcelino, West Morgan   20:10.65

4. Hallie Porterfield, Westminster      20:23.87

Pleasant Valley High School (host)
Pleasant Valley High, Jacksonville (Total participants listed in parentheses)

4A-7A BOYS TEAM WINNER: Hewitt-Trussville 51; Oxford 72; Lincoln 96
1. Jack Lowe, Pell City                       18:16.85

2. Ronald Piedra, Central-Clay           18:48.76

3. J.R. Proctor, Lincoln                       19:03.93

4. Dakota Frank, Munford                  19:04:58

1A-3A BOYS TEAM WINNER: White Plains 29; Pleasant Valley 51; Ohatchee 96
1. James Middlebrooks, White Plains 17:52.95

2. Christian Myles, Anniston              18:06.84

3. Jake Moore, White Plains               18:29.28

4. Coleman Hayes, Pleasant Valley    19:10.96

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Arab 83; Pleasant Valley 98; St. James 112
1. Presley Miles, St. James     18:48.98

2. Taylor Simmons, Donoho  22:01.17

3. Jayda Fair, Ohatchee          22:04.16

4. Grace Gosline, Arab           22:24.20




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