AHSAA 61st State Girls Cross Country Championships

     MOULTON – Huntsville (7A), Homewood (6A), St. Paul’s Episcopal (5A), Randolph (4A), Pleasant Valley (3A) and Westminster of Oak Mountain (1A/2A) each captured state championships Saturday at the AHSAA 61st State Cross Country Championships.
    Freshman Isabel Valenzuela of St. Paul’s and sophomore Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic each won their third straight individual state championships in Class 5A and 4A, respectively.
CLASS 7A GIRLS:  Huntsville Wins First Championship Since 1989
     Huntsville High School placed four runners in the top 12 Saturday and the Panthers captured their first Class 7A girls’ state cross country championship at Oakville Indian Mounds Museum and Park Saturday morning.
    Huntsville, coached by Graciela Bryant, totaled 51 points to nip defending state champion Mountain Brook. The Spartans finished with 61 points, and Auburn was third with 64.
    Senior Anna Grace Morgan of Mountain Brook won the individual championship with a winning time of 17:46.01, the fastest time among all girls’ runners in all classes Saturday.  McGill-Toolen Catholic junior Grace Jensen was second at 18:18.06, followed by Huntsville senior Abbey Zane’s 18:23.45 finish. Panther teammates Abbey Weitenbeck, Rachel Jones and Hannah Bloom finished 6th, 7th and 12th, respectively.

CLASS 6A GIRLS:  Homewood’s Phelps Leads Patriots to Title
     Homewood freshman Lainey Phelps won the individual championship in the Class 6A competition with a winning time of 18:02.13, the second fastest time of the day in all classes, and beat the rest of the 185-runner field by 81 seconds.
  Coach Lars Porter’s girls and boys swept championships Saturday. The Lady Patriots had 51 points. Florence was second at 103, Fort Payne, third with 118, and two-time defending state champion John Carroll Catholic was fourth at 132.
     Eighth grader Mary Claire Ridgeway (129:21.73) was second. Celie Jackson, another Homewood freshman, was fifth (19:32.26).  

CLASS 5A GIRLS:  St. Paul’s Valenzuela  Takes 3rd Straight 5A Championship
     Freshman Isabel Valenzuela clocked 18:21.33 Saturday to cross the finish line first for the third year in a row and St. Paul’s Episcopal won the school’s 19th girls’ championship overall and first in 16 years.
    Coach Jim Tate’s Saints totaled 54 points to edge runner-up Scottsboro (57) and defending state champion Lawrence County (60) for the team championship.  Valenzuela bested her 2015 winning time by more than two seconds. Scottsboro senior Karsyn Whitehead and Lexie Burfield of Lawrence County finished 2-3 with times of 19:16.16 and 19:25.68, respectively.
CLASS 4A GIRLS: Catholic’s Tyynismaa Wins 3rd Individual Title
     Sophomore Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic swept her third state AHSAA Class 4A state championship Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum running the 3.1-mile distance in 18:07.76, the third fastest girls’ time of the day in all classes.
      Randolph won the girls’ team championship with 55 points. Catholic was second with 65 and West Limestone was third with 69.
      Juniors Katherine Hunter and Carolina Stucky finished sixth and seventh, respectively, to lead the winning Raiders. Eighth grader and teammate Emma Hudson also finished ninth for Randolph.
      Saint James eighth grader Presley Miles was 41 seconds behind Tyynismaa at 18:48.11 to take second place individually.

CLASS 3A GIRLS:  Pleasant Valley Repeats as State Champs
     Eighth grader Trinity Roberts’ third-place finish helped Pleasant Valley secure its second AHSA Class 3A state championship in a row Saturday.
    T.R. Miller senior Allie Nelson won the individual title running 18:53.29 over the 3.1-mile Oakville course. American Christian junior Becca Billman (19:55.05) finished second and Roberts came in at 19:55.05 to finish third.
     Pleasant Valley, coached by Brad Hood, had 70 points and T.R. Miller was second at 86. American Christian was third with 92.

CLASS 1A/2A GIRLS:  Westminster of Oak Mountain Wins First Championship
     Westminster of Oak Mountain placed four runners in the Top 12 Saturday to lead the Lady Knights to their first girls’ AHSAA state cross country championship. Competing in the 1A/2A divison, Westminster, coached by Leslie Callahan, posted four times under 21 minutes to score 42 points. Hatton was second with 88 and defending state champion St. Bernard of Cullman was third with 89.
     Senior Maddie Hoaglund finished fourth overall with a time of 19:53.61 to pace Westminster.
     Hannah Tarwater, a Whitesburg Christian junior, won the individual gold with a 19:18.73 winning time. St. Bernard junior Leahrose Mami was second at 19:24.75. Ivy Edge of St. Bernard, who won the 1A/2A title as a freshman in 2015, clocked 20:04.96 to finish sixth.

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