MONTGOMERY – Senior cross country runner Will Stone of Homewood High School picked up this season right where he left off in 2017. Stone clocked 15:32.85 in the Brooks/Memphis Twilight Cross Country Championships last weekend to finish second among the 402 varsity boys’ participants. Davis Bove of Centennial (TN) won the championship with a 15:24.91 time. Homewood finished eighth in the 52-team field.
Stone’s effort is the fastest 5,000-meter time of any AHSAA runner this season and earned him the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for the past week. Last year’s boys’ state prep runner of the year clocked 15:46.2 to win the Class 6A state championship boys’ individual title and run the state’s fast time (15:22.32) in 2017 at the Jesse Owens Classic. Just two weeks into the season he has bettered his state championship time by 14 seconds and is just 10 seconds behind his best time of last season.
Homewood, coached by Josh Donaldson, finished sixth in the girls’ competition at Memphis with Patriots junior Lainey Phelps finishing fourth in the varsity girls’ division clocking 18:50.76 – 12 seconds off the winning pace of Henry County (TN) runner Dinah Winders. The girls’ race included 43 schools and 344 runners.
In other top performances reported from last week’s action:
SAM MOULTRIE, GUNTERSVILLE: The junior won the Gold Division at the second annual Huntsville Panther Prowl Cross Country Invitational 5,000-meter race clocking 16:25.57. Runner-up Hayden Judge of Scottsboro ran a 16:32.07 time. Huntsville captured the team title with 32 points.
JACOB WARNER, SPAIN PARK: Captured first place in the 12th annual Waffle House/Yellow Jacket Invitational at Choccolocca Park with a winning time of 16:39.92. Oak Mountain’s duo of Hansen McCown and Josh Barrett finished 2-3 with times of 17:05.26 and 17:07.88 in the field 216 runners. The Eagles won the team competition with 28 points. Southside-Gadsden was second with 83.
MYLES STOOTS, FAITH ACADEMY: Finished third in the Mobile Challenge of Champions Cross Country Championships with a time of 16:47.45. He was five seconds off the pace of Brother Martin runner Cade Litolff (16:42.54). Brother Martin of New Orleans won the team title with 60 points and Baker was second with 74. A total of 75 runners participated.
STEELE JOINER, LAWRENCE COUNTY: The Red Devils’ freshman turned in a 16:58.42 time to beat the 139-runner field in the 4A/7A division race at the Brooks Invitational at Florence’s McFarland Park. Raleigh Stamps of Rogers was second at 17:04.01.
CARSON GRAVES, HATTON: The freshman won the 1A/3A boys’ race at the Brooks Invitational at Florence’s McFarland Park running 17:23.24 to finish first. Lauderdale County’s Colby Corum, a sophomore, was second with a 17:34.92 time.
JOSEPH PERRY, UMS-WRIGHT: Clocked 17:23.53 to finish first in the field of 226 runners competing in the Open Division of the Mobile Challenge of Champions event at Mobile. St. Paul’s Episcopal, led by runner-up John Michael Romanos, placed four runners in a row behind Perry to win the team title with 24 points. Romanos crossed the finish line at 17:31.84.
GRAHAM BIANCHI, SPRINGVILLE: Ran 17:54.94 to win the St. Clair County Invitational race championship as the Tigers won the team title with 36 points. Teammate Peyton Young was third.
HUNTER HARWELL, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Won the featured two-mile race at the Warrior Challenge at Alabaster’s Veterans Park with a winning time of 10:21.78. Thompson’s Jace Jones was second at 10:29.77. Mountain Brook won the team title with 30 points. The race had a field of 143 runners. Harwell’s time was the fastest two-mile performance of the season in the AHSAA thus far in 2018.