MOULTON – Auburn High School senior Paul Barlow won his second consecutive state cross country title and the Tigers of Coach Dan Norton captured their second Class 7A team championship as the 60th annual AHSAA State Boy’ Cross Country Championships concluded Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds and Museum Park cross country course.
The 43rd annual girls’ state championships also concluded.
Barlow clocked the fastest boys’ time of the day over the 3.1-mile (5,000 K) course with a winning time of 15:30.52. He edged out Oak Mountain junior Cole Stidfole by just two seconds in what was the tightest finish of the day.
Also winning boys’ state championships were Cold Springs (1A-2A), American Christian (3A), Trinity Presbyterian (4A), Lawrence County (5A) and Homewood (6A).
Auburn scored 46 points with Mountain Brook second with 54 in the 7A competition. Hoover was third with 89 points.
Paul Barlow’s strong finish (15:30.52) sparked Coach Dan Norton’s Tigers to their eighth state championship overall. Oak Mountain junior Cole Stidfole was second at 15:32.48. Juniors Jack Rogers and Joshua Escoe were third and 10th, respectively, for Auburn. Rogers crossed the finish line at 15:37.79.
Homewood won its fourth straight state championship as Coach Lars Porter’s squad placed four runners in the top eight finishers of a field including 212 participants. The Patriots finished with 32 points, tied for best score of the day with 1A-2A winner Cold Springs. Opelika was 6A runner-up with 60 points. Scottsboro (71) was third.
Senior Dillon Dean of Benjamin Russell won the individual championship with a winning time of 15:45.71. Ben Garner of Opelika was third at 15:58.98, followed by Homewood trio, senior Hunter Poole, freshman Will Stone and senior Andy Smith, finishing only five seconds apart at 3-4-5.
Lawrence County, coached by Stanley Johnson, totaled 57 points to win its second consecutive boys’ state cross title and eighth overall. The win gave the Red Devils a sweep of the 5A boys’ and girls’ championships.
Sheldon Britton, a senior at Alabama Christian, clocked 16:06.07 to claim first place individually. Senior Zachary Duclos paced Lawrence County with a 16:31.70 time to take second place over Saint John Paul II freshman Noah Flynn. Flynn clocked 16:31.80 in the photo finish.
Saint John Paul II was second with 71 points, and Beauregard finished third with 92.
Trinity Presbyterian captured its first AHSAA state cross country championship scoring 64 point to edge out Loveless Academy of Montgomery (LAMP) (66) by two points. Defending champion Northside was third with 71 points.
Coach Monica Lott’s Wildcats placed three runners in the top 12, led by freshman Charlie Lott’s fourth-place finish (16:26.89). Junior T.A. Sluis was eighth and sophomore Dawson Oliver was 12th.
Westminster Christian’s Ryan Ford, a senior, captured first place with a winning time of 15:50.48 – improving by almost 32 seconds on his 2014 time and runner-up finish. James Patrick Brinyark of Northside finished second at 16:18 .10.
American Christian won the state championship with 56 points. Defending champion Montgomery Academy was second with 67 points and Cottage Hill, third, at 88.
Ash Midyett, a senior at Bayside Academy in Daphne, was overall individual champion crossing the finish at 16:23.16. Montgomery Academy’s Jack Barganier for the second straight year with a time of 16:30.04. Senior Nick Klein of Winfield, the 2014 winner, improved his 2014 time by four seconds but finished third (16:46.23).
Leading Coach Charles Tiller’s winning Patriots was sophomore David Barrett, who finished sixth.
Dylan Pausic of Shades Mountain improved his 2014 winning time by 13 seconds, clocking 16:20.40 Saturday, and claimed his second state 1A-2A individual cross country state crown. Casey Guthery was second (16:41.54).
Coach Claborn Campbell’s Cold Springs Panthers scored 32 points, tying for low team score in all classes, and rolled to its second straight 1A-2A state title. Three runners pacing in among the top five finishers. Sophomore C.J. Lang was third overall at 16:50.85, senior Kramer Crider was fourth (16:51.84) and junior Jared Stanley was fifth (17:13.27). Freshman Mason Harris crossed in 10th place for Cold Springs. St. Bernard was second with 67 points and Hatton was third with 94.