MONTGOMERY – Oak Mountain High School’s Bryce Keefover edged Thomas Wolfe of Hewitt-Trussville by just 1.18 seconds to win the boys’ championship at the 26th annual Husky Challenge high school cross country championships last week.
Jonah Barrett of the Eagles and Will Couch of Hoover were only seconds behind the leaders to finish 3-4 in the 105-runner field at the Trussville race. Their efforts in the meet that began its run almost three decades ago grabbed the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for week eight of the 2017 season.
A total of 109 runners and 12 teams were in the field. Hoover won the team title with 39 points with its runners averaging 17:08.53 to nip Oak Mountain, which had 42 points. The Eagles’ runners averaged 17:09.70 in one of the closest team competitions top-to-bottom of the season.
Hoover and Oak Mountain finished 1-2 in the girls’ competition that included 73 participants. The Lady Bucs had 29 points and the Eagles had 75. Lindsey Granier of John Carroll Catholic won the girls’ race with a time of 19:54.42, a second faster than Hoover’s Ava Weems, who clocked 19:55.93.
Other cross country highlights reported include:
AUBURN TIGER CLASSIC (5A-7A): Juniors Silas Franklin of Smiths Station, Evan Rogers of Auburn and Allan Anderson of Grissom crossed the finish line of the Tiger Classic large-school competition at Keisel Park with only 4.8 seconds separating the trio. Franklin won with a time of 16:24.96, followed by Rogers at 16:28.44 while Anderson was clocked at 16:29.76. Auburn edged Smith Station 60-62 to win the team competition in the race that featured 172 runners and 13 teams.
AUBURN TIGER CLASSIC (1A-4A): Sophomore Judson Hardin of Alabama Christian clocked 16:56.70 to finish first in the Class 1A-4A boys’ race held at Auburn’s Keisel Park. Senior Dawson Oliver and freshman Carter Clark finished 2-3 in the 143-runner field for Trinity Presbyterian, which won the team championship with 28 points. Montgomery Catholic was second with 47.
BALDWIN COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Fairhope totaled 18 points at the race held at Loxley Municipal Park to win the Baldwin County title. Jared Touart led the Pirates with a winning time of 16:58.70 and Saxon Kilpatrick was second behind his teammate at 17:27.30 in the 91-runner field. Bayside Academy took second place.
MOBILE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Mary Montgomery runner Caleb Troy Smith won the Mobile County boys’ championship with a winning time of 16:55.44 at Municipal Park. Myles Stoots of Faith Academy was second (17:16.02). Baker placed the next four finishers to win the meet with 26 points. Cody Becker was third for the Hornets clocking 17:23.31. Mary Montgomery finished second with 86 points. Fifteen schools and 130 runners competed.
OKTOBERFEST INVITATIONAL: St. Bernard’s Andrew Sweeney won the Class 1A-3A division race held at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman with a winning time of 16:52.29. Nate Collins of Westminster-Oak Mountain was a close second with a 16:54.69 time. Westminster won the team competition with 32 points. St. Bernard was second with 67.
Cullman’s Eli Wilhite ran the 5,000-meter course in 16:52.52 to edge out Florence’s Grant Brown (16:57.33) to win the Class 4A-7A division race. The Bearcats won the team title with 37 points and the Falcons were second with 47.
LAST CHANCE CLASSIC: St. John Paul II Catholic’s Noah Flynn and Faud Qushair finished 1-2 in the race held at Madison’s Palmer Park and hosted by James Clemens High School. Flynn’s winning time was 15:52.56 in the 136-runner field. Huntsville won the team title with 25 points. The Falcons were second with 47.
PAUL W. BRYANT INVITATIONAL: Juniors John Niller, Adam Bolton and Nathan Shamwell finished 1-2-3 for Northridge as the Jaguars won the meet with 19 points. Niller posted a 19:05.58 to win.
DEMOPOLIS INVITATIONAL: Demopolis sophomore Jensen Hammons ran the 5,000-meter course at Demopolis Sports Park in 18:36.28 to claim first place. The Aggies scored 18 points to win the team title.
PISGAH INVITATIONAL: Ben Hembree finished first for Pisgah with a winning time of 19:20.40 and teammate Jase Moore was second just 13 seconds behind. The Eagles also won the team title with 32 points.
WILDCAT FALL CLASSIC: Ohatchee junior Gabe Hammonds sped to the finish line in 17:31.10 to nip runner-up Miciah Myles of Anniston and third-place finisher Reed Robinson of Oxford by two seconds. Anniston hosted the meet that featured 138 boys’ participants. The team race was just as close with the Bulldogs winning with 59 points over White Plains (60).
AUBURN TIGER CLASSIC (1A-4A): Three-time defending AHSAA state cross country champion Amaris Tyynismaa won the 1A-4A competition at the Tiger Classic at Auburn’s Keisel Park in convincing fashion with a winning time of 18:33.41 – 74 seconds ahead of runner-up Olivia Blackmon of T.R. Miller. A total of 107 girls competed in the race. Catholic also won the team title with 22 points. T.R. Miller was second with 52.
AUBURN TIGER CLASSIC (5A-7A): Host Auburn placed four runners among the top six to win the Tiger Classic at Auburn with 23 points. Sophomore Samantha Rogers finished second at 19:06.93 to lead the winning Tigers. Grissom senior Jenny McManus won the race with an 18:59.93 time over a field of 120 runners.
LAST CHANCE CLASSIC: Huntsville’s girls ran away with the title posting 18 points to beat runner-up and host James Clemens (48). Rachel Jones won the individual title for the Panthers clocking 18:55.20. Huntsville teammates Kaitlyn Johnson and Hannah Bloom finished 2-3 and Genevieve Schaefer was fifth.
BALDWIN COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Lexie Williams and Audrey Clark crossed the finish line 1-2 for Fairhope to lead the Pirates to the meet win at Loxley. Williams’ winning time was 20:08.47. Fairhope posted 27 points and runner-up Daphne had 72. Eighty-six runners participated.
MOBILE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Baker swept the girls’ team title with three runners in the top seven, led by Leslie Baxter, who was fourth. The Hornets totaled 39 points, and runner-up McGill-Toolen Catholic was second with 53. Grace Jenson of the Jackets clocked 18:48 .06 to beat the rest of the field of 85 runners.
OKTOBERFEST INVITATIONAL: Southside-Gadsden’s Camryn Davis won the Class 4A-7A division race held at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman with a winning time of 20:18.84. Leahrose Mami of St. Bernard took first place in the 1A-3A division with a time of 20:28.22. A total of 135 runners competed in both races with Lawrence County taking the 4A-7A team crown with 42 points and Westminster of Oak Mountain posting a 26 total to win the 1A-3A championship.
PAUL W. BRYANT INVITATIONAL: Hillcrest eighth grader Sophie Smelley ran the 5,000-meter course in 24:03.54 to take first place in the meet held at Tuscaloosa. Asia Pleasants of Paul Bryant finished second. The Patriots also won the team title with 26 points.
DEMOPOLIS INVITATIONAL: Demopolis won the team title with 15 points and junior Amindy Mullen took first place with a winning time of 23:31.00 at Demopolis Sports Park.
PISGAH INVITATIONAL: Madison Academy’s Julianne Hill beat Pisgah runners Kaylynn Morgan and Kristen York to win the meet with a 21:50.20 time. The Eagles duo helped Pisgah win the team with 32 points.
WILDCAT FALL CLASSIC: Junior Abby Nunnelly of Alexandria won the Anniston race with a 20:30 time. Alexandria won the team competition over Oxford with 28 points. The Jackets had 68.