AHSAA 61st State Boys Cross Country Championships

     MOULTON – Auburn (7A), Homewood (6A), Scottsboro (5A), LAMP (4A), American Christian (3A) and St. Bernard Prep (1A/2A) each won boys’ state titles Saturday as the 61st annual AHSAA State Cross Country Championships concluded at Oakville Museum and Park.
     Coach Charles Tiller’s American Christian squad scored an incredible team score of 24 points to take the 3A state crown.

CLASS 7A BOYS: Auburn Places 3 Runners in Top 5 to Win 4th Straight Title
     Auburn High School’s cross country team placed three runners in the top five finishers as Coach Dan Norton’s Tigers captured the school’s fourth straight state championship with 59 points. Mountain Brook (69) was second and Hoover (93), third.
    Seniors Joshua Escoe, Jack Rogers and Nate Pudner crossed the finish just 13 seconds apart. Escoe’s team-leading time of 15:42.26 was just seven seconds behind individual winner Tommy McDonough of Hoover. The Bucs senior clocked 15:39.70 to edge runner-up, Hewitt-Trussville senior John Ngaruiya, by a tenth of a second. Ngaruiya’s time was 15:39.80 in what was one of the closest finishes in the 61-year history of the AHSAA State Championships.
    Rogers’ fourth-place time was 15:52.55, and Pudner was fifth at 15:55.62. Senior Carson Chambliss was next for the Tigers with a 25th-place finish. Auburn has now won all three 7A state titles in AHSAA history. Norton’s team also won the 6A title in 2013, the last year of the AHSAA six-classification system.

CLASS 6A BOYS: Stone Leads Homewood to 5th Straight CC Crown
     Sophomore Will Stone captured the Class 6A individual cross country championship with a 16:01.40 time and the Patriots rolled to their fifth consecutive state team championship at Oakville.
    Coach Lars Porter’s runners finished with 55 points. Runner-up Cullman had 72 and Helena was third with 95.
    Stone finished 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Ben Garner of Opelika. Garner clocked 16:13.60 and Stone’s Homewood teammate, senior Paul Selden, was third at 16:17.57.
     Conner Sims of Brewer (16:35.60) and Joey Franklin of Cullman (16:37.56) finished just two seconds apart to claim 4th and 5th.
CLASS 5A BOYS: Scottsboro Claims 12th State Championship
   Scottsboro High School senior Colton Smith ran the 3.1-mile course in 16:09.60 to claim the Class 5A individual championship Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum to lead the Wildcats to the team championship. Scottsboro, coached by Benjamin Robinson, has now won 12 state boys’ cross country titles dating back to 1991.
    The Wildcats scored 47 points with runner-up St. John Paul II Catholic second at 57. Briarwood Christian finished fourth at 96.
     Sophomore Noah Flynn of St. John Paul II was second behind Smith at 16.37.33.  Beauregard sophomore Jonathan Jenkins was third (16:38.60).  Sophomore Will Coleman was also eighth,  junior Devin Berry finished 12th and eighth grader Cooper Atkins was 14th to round out Scottsboro’s top four runners.

 CLASS 4A BOYS: LAMP Captures First Cross Country Championship
   Loveless Academic Magnet School (LAMP) of Montgomery, coached by Christopher Colvin, captured state boys’ cross country title Saturday nipping runner-up Randolph by two points. The Golden Tigers scored 88 and the Raiders 90. Defending champion Trinity Presbyterian was third at 95.
     Junior Won Heo crossed the finish line sixth to lead LAMP’s squad. He clocked 16:49.82 – 47 seconds behind individual medalist Tanner King. The Northside junior ran the course in 16:22.32.  Madison Academy senior Will Oglesby (16:25.55) was second and Matthew Estophinal of Randolph (16:31.66) was third.
     Junior Adam Peck finished 14th and was the second LAMP runner to cross the finish line.

CLASS 3A BOYS: Taylor Leads American Christian to Championship
   American Christian junior Ray Taylor finished first among the 140 runners in the Class 3A state meet field to set the pace as the Patriots of Coach Charles Tiller rolled to their second consecutive Class 3A championship.
    Taylor clocked 16:34.68 to nip runner-up Ernest Ladd of Bayside Academy for the individual title. Ladd ran the 3.1-mile course in 16:36.48.  Isom Brock was third with a 16:52.29 time for American Christian. David Barrett was fifth, Caleb Isbell was sixth and Joseph Wohlers finished ninth as the Patriots took the championship with 24 points, best boys’ point total of the entire 2016 state championships.
    Pleasant Valley was second at 107 points – 83 behind the winners, and Bayside Academy was third at 127.

CLASS 1A/2A BOYS: St. Bernard Claims First Boys’ Title
   St. Bernard Prep teammates Casey Guthery and Andrew Sweeney crossed the finish line 1-2 Saturday in the 137-runner field to spark Coach William Calvert’s Saints to the AHSAA Class 1A/2A boys’ state cross country championship.
    Guthery, a senior, was the individual champion clocking 16:33.57. Sweeney, a junior, was 12 seconds back at 16:47.49. Cold Springs’ C.J. Lang (16:49.24) was third.
     Calvert’s squad totaled 58 points and defending state champion Cold Springs had 64 to finish second. Westminster of Oak Mountain was third with 85 points.

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