AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for Week 7 Trio of Runners Cross the Finish Line Just Seconds Apart at ‘Dew It on the Trails’ Meet at Decatur

     MONTGOMERY –Thompson High School junior Brandon DeMarcus Lee ran Decatur’s Point Mallard course in 15:52.20 to edge junior Hunter Harwell of Mountain Brook and senior Cameron Cox of Huntsville in the 5A-7A division of the ‘Dew It on the Trails’ cross country meet last weekend.
     The finish turned out to one of the most competitive cross country races of the season for AHSAA schools with only four seconds separating the trio. The photo finish grabbed the AHSAA Spotlight for week 7 of the cross country season.
    The top five runners finished under 16:00.  Nineteen teams and 300 runners competed in the race. Huntsville had four runners finish under 16:25 and posted 45 points to win the team championship over runner-up Mountain Brook (76).
    Haleyville senior Hamza Abusammour clocked 17:13.40 to win the 1A-4A boys’ competition that included 200 runners. The Lions also won the team championship with 89 points. J.B. Pennington was second with 93.
    Thompson junior McKenzie Hogue gave the Warriors a sweep with a winning time of 18:37.90 in the girls’ 5A-7A race that featured 194 participants and 16 teams. Junior Abby Weitenbeck was second with a 19:03.40 time and Mountain Brook junior Anna Balzli was third clocking 19:05.50. Mountain Brook’s Spartans won the team championship with 39 points. Huntsville was second with 52.
   West Limestone won the 1A-4A girls’ team championship with 71 points, and Hatton was second with 106. Whitesburg Christian senior Hannah Tarwater crossed first at 19:46.60 to beat the field of 194 runners. West Limestone sophomore Cassidy Winter was second clocking 20:17.50.
    Other cross country highlights from the past week include:

HUNTSVILLE METRO CHAMPIONSHIPS: Randolph senior Matthew Estopinal ran the John Hunt Park 5,000-meter course in 15:52.1 to beat the 114-runner field and capture the individual championship. Runner-up Jean Pierre Leroux, a sophomore at Bob Jones, finished at 16:30.7. Huntsville, led by senior Cameron Cox’s third-place performance, won the team championship with 25 points. The Panthers placed seven runners in the top nine finishers.  Bob Jones was second with 54 points.
UA CRIMSON CLASSIC: American Christian senior Taylor Ray nipped Florence senior Grant Brown by just three seconds to win the boys’ competition at the University of Alabama Crimson Classic prep invitational. Ray clocked 17:05.8 and Brown ran the 5,000-meter course in 17:08.9. Hoover, led by Drew Kilgore’s third-place finish, won the team crown with 45 points and Florence was second in the 23-team competition with 130. A total of 202 runners participated.
WARHAWK CHALLENGE: Auburn junior Evan Rogers edged Wetumpka’s Cory Anthony for the boys’ individual title. His winning time was 16:44.56 in the field of 249 runners that competed at Auburn-Montgomery University’s Montgomery Trails course. Anthony finished at 16:58.29.  The Tigers also won the boys’ team championship with 27 points. Montgomery Catholic was second with 63. A total of 20 teams competed.
MADISON COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Buckhorn’s Daniel Wilcox won county meet individual honors with a winning time of 17:36.25 over the Sharon Johnston Park course at New Market. Sparkman’s Jack Maier led the Senators to the team title with a second-place time of 17:42.15. Sparkman totaled 21 points. Buckhorn was second with 38.
FAIRVIEW ‘HAY OF A RUN’ INVITATIONAL: St. Bernard’s Andrew Sweeney crossed the finish line at 17:04.54 to win the 1A-4A boys’ competition at Fairview Town Park that featured nine teams and 113 runners overall. Aaron Brown of Hanceville was second at 17:28.44. Fairview’s Quinton Chambers finished third (17:42.75) to lead the host Aggies of Coach Hite Hobson to the team title. Fairview had 47 points and runner-up St. Bernard had 49.
Southside-Gadsden’s Taylor Nails won the meet hosted by St. Clair County High School with a time of 17:29.51. Reed Robinson of Oxford was second at 17:45.39 in the field of 130 runners to lead the Jackets to the meet title. Oxford totaled 65 points and runner-up Southside had 72.
The Huskies won their own meet with their first eight runners crossing ahead of the competition for a perfect team score of 15. Blake Vaughn won the individual medalist honors with a winning time of 17:46.84. Indian Springs finished second with 55 points.
FAITH ACADEMY BOARDWALK CHALLENGE: Baker’s Cody Becker finished third to lead the Hornets to the team championship of the meet held at Mobile. Baker totaled 42 points and McGill-Toolen Catholic was runner-up with 47. Mary Montgomery’s Caleb Troy Smith finished first in the 117-runner competition with a time of 17:18.54. Myles Stoots of Faith Academy was second at 17:36.21, and Becker clocked 17:55.24.
TERRORTORIUM ON THE CREEKBANK INVITATIONAL: Pleasant Valley senior Matisse Miller clocked the Oxford Lake Park course in 16:55.84 to capture first place in the 141-runner field. Ashville senior Daniel Tully was second with a 17:05.20 time. Pleasant Valley won the team title with 45 points. Fifteen teams participated.

HUNTSVILLE METRO CHAMPIONSHIPS: Senior Rachel Jones led a trio of Huntsville runners that finished 1-2-3 in the girls’ competition held at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park. She clocked 18:59.9 to win the title. Teammates Abbey Weitenbeck and Hannah Bloom were right behind at 19:00.1 and 19:14.7, respectively. The Panthers won the team title with 27 points and Randolph was second with 47. Six teams and 64 runners participated.
UA CRIMSON CLASSIC: Hoover posted 44 points to win the girls’ championship at the University of Alabama Crimson Classic. Fort Payne was second with 66. Hoover senior Ava Weems clocked 19:57.7 to finish third for the Lady Bucs. Presley Miles, a freshman at Saint James, won the race with a time of 18:42.7. Florence’s Mary Claire Ridgeway was second (19:46.2).
WARHAWK CHALLENGE: Montgomery Catholic junior Amaris Tyynismaa continued her domination in girls’ cross country winning the meet at Auburn-Montgomery University’s Montgomery Trails course with a time of 18:37.98.  Samantha Rogers, a sophomore at Auburn, was second at 18:51.23. A field of 165 girls competed in the race.  Auburn won the team title with 20 points, and Catholic was second with 49.
MADISON COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Buckhorn won the team title with 20 points and Sparkman senior Kaylee Stewart captured medalist honors with a winning time of 20:41.98 over the Sharon Johnston Park course at New Market. Freshman Jessica Dodson was second at 20:53.79 for Buckhorn. Sparkman was runner-up with 35 points.
FAIRVIEW ‘HAY OF A RUN’ INVITATIONAL: St. Bernard swept the team and individual titles with Leahrose Mami clocking 20:30.41 to finish first. The Saints posted 40 points and runner-up Jasper had 48. Fairview’s Alex McDonald finished second with a time of 21:23.12 in the race at Fairview Town Park. Fifty-six runners competed.
BULLFROG POND CLASSIC: Alexandria’s Abby Nunnelly clocked 20:25.65 at the meet hosted by St. Clair County High School to take first place in the field of 72 participants. The Valley Cubs also won the team competition with 23 points and Southside-Gadsden was second with 71.
The Lady Huskies’ five scoring runners finished among the top six overall as Helena won the meet with 16 points. Indian Springs was second with 45. Abigail Ford won the individual competition with a time of 22:04.63 to lead the Huskies.
FAITH ACADEMY BOARDWALK CHALLENGE: McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Grace Jensen posted a winning time of 19:18.23 at the Mobile meet to beat the field of 79 runners. Baker and McGill-Toolen each finished with 38 points, but the Hornets won the championship in a tie breaker.
TERRORTORIUM ON THE CREEKBANK INVITATIONAL: Pleasant Valley captured the girls’ team championship at the meet held at Oxford Lake Park course. The Raiders totaled 23 points and Ohatchee was second with 55.  Freshman Trinity Roberts and senior Rachel Faucett finished 1-2 for Pleasant Valley with times of 19:39.66 and 20:34.61, respectively. Eight teams and 75 runners competed.

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