MONTGOMERY – Pleasant Valley High School’s girls turned in a perfect score at the White Plains Twilight Cross Country Invitational held at the White Plains Youth Sports Complex and Cross Country Trail last week to open the 2017 AHSAA cross country season.
The two-time defending Class 3A state champion Lady Raiders placed the first seven runners across the finish line with the top five scoring a perfect 15 to win the competition and grabbed the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for Week 1 of the 2017 season.
Freshman Trinity Roberts, who finished third in last year’s Class 3A state cross country meet, clocked 20:58.83 to win the 5,000-meter race for Coach Brad Hood’s squad. Senior Rachel Faucett was second at 21:30.15.
Abby Nunnelly of Alexandria won the large-school race with a time of 21:47.46 to lead the Valley Cubs to the team title. Alexandria had 24 points runner-up while White Plains was second with 43 points. The Lady Wildcats were led by Briar Poytress’ runner-up finish just less than a second ahead of Jacksonville’s Mary Shelton with a time of 23:03.82. Shelton clocked 23:04.43.
Other highlights from the first week of cross country competition reported include:
MOBILE CROSS COUNTRY CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS: McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Grace Jensen clocked 19:26.20 to claim the individual championship at the Cross Country Challenge of Champions held at Langhan Park in Mobile. Lexie Williams of Fairhope was third in the very competitive invitational division with a 20:22.90 time. Ocean Springs (MS) won the team title with 43 points. Brookwood (GA) was second with 44 and McGill-Toolen was third with 87. Olivia Blackmon of T.R. Miller won the girls’ open race in 20:21.15. Daphne’s Nicole Luther was second with a 22:04.86 time. Brookwood (GA) won the team competition with 33 points. T.R. Miller was third with 73.
11TH ANNUAL WAFFLE HOUSE / YELLOW JACKETS INVITATIONAL: American Christian’s Becca Billman and Harper Roberts finished 1-2 in the meet held at Oxford with times of 19:39.04 and 20:03.36. Fort Payne, led by junior Gracie Groat’s fifth-place finish, won the team title with 47 points. John Carroll Catholic was second with 68 and ACA was third with 76.
6th ANNUAL PEPSI CHALLENGE: The host Lawrence County girls captured the first four places in the girls’ large-school division of the 5,000-K cross country race to win the 6th Annual Pepsi Challenge held at Moulton’s H.A. Alexander Park with a near perfect 17 points. Savannah Williams led the Lady Red Devils with a winning time of 21:03.88. Teammate Emily Daniel was second at 21:11.79, followed by Talor Williams (21:49.27) and Jenny Jett (22:14.28). The fifth runner to cross the finish line for Coach Stanley Johnson’s team was Paige Guess, who finished eighth overall. Scottsboro was second with 48 points. West Limestone won the small-school team title with 28 points. Altamont was second with 66. Mary Allen Murray of Altamont won the competition with a time of 21:19.81. Katie Serrato, Cassidy Winter and Yarahy Marcelino were 2-3-4, respectively, for West Limestone. Serrato’s second-place time was 21:55.97.
BROOKS INVITATIONAL: Mary Claire Ridgeway of Florence won the Class 4A-7A division with a winning time of 18:20.50. Phoebe Moon of Wilson was second at 19:44.31. James Clemens won the team championship with 57 points and Buckhorn was second with 81. The 1A-3A girls’ race was won by Hatton with 36 points. Kasey Eziekel of Cold Springs was the individual winner (21:10.12). Ally Amerson finished second and Mary Kate Sapp was third for Hatton.
TRINITY TRAILBLAZER INVITATIONAL: Three-time state AHSAA cross country champion Amaris Tyynismaa clocked 21:00.96 to win the girls’ 5,000-meter race held at Young Meadows in Montgomery. MaKennah Mills of Northview was second at 22:15.49, followed by Catholic runners Isabelle Cochran and Katie Galvin at 3 and 4, respectively. The Lady Knights won the team competition with 31 points. Montgomery Academy was second with 112.
MOBILE CROSS COUNTRY CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS: Fairhope’s Jared Touart clocked 16:46.75 to finish third in the strong field competing in the Cross Country Challenge of Champions at Mobile’s Langhan Park. Hunter Appleton of Brother Martin (LA) won the invitational division 5,000-meter race in 16:33.42. His team also won the meet title with 58 points. The top Alabama finisher was Baker in fourth place. Bayside Academy’s Ernest Ladd turned in the best time of the 257 runners competing in open division to win in 17:49.06. Brother Martin (LA) won the team title with 43 points. Bayside was third with 136.
11TH ANNUAL WAFFLE HOUSE / YELLOW JACKETS INVITATIONAL: American Christian seniors Joseph Wohlers and Taylor Ray clocked 16:50.91 and 16:55.51 to finish 1-2 in the 11th annual race hosted at Oxford to lead Coach Charles Tiller’s Patriots to the team title. ACA totaled 27 points and John Carroll Catholic was a distant second with 132.
6th ANNUAL PEPSI CHALLENGE: Scottsboro totaled 20 points as Wildcats’ runners finished 2 through 7 in the competition behind race winner Connor Sims of Brewer. Sims clocked 17:19.20 in the boys’ large-school division of the 5,000-K race at Moulton’s H.A. Alexander Park. Cooper Atkins led Scottsboro’s strong team effort with a time of 17:23.33 to finish second – just five seconds ahead of teammate Davin Berry, who clocked 17:28.33.
Lawrence County finished second with 66 points and Brewer was third with 71.
Asher Desai and James Dixon finished 1-2 for Altamont in the small-school competition with times of 17:24.73 and 17:42.81, respectively. Cold Springs, led by third-place finisher C.J. Lang, captured the championship with 34 points. Altamont was second with 68.
BROOKS INVITATIONAL: Florence won the boys’ 4A-7A race with 43 points. St. John Paul II Catholic was second with 62 points and James Clemens third with 72. Noah Flynn won the individual competition with a winning time of 16:50.23 for St. John Paul II. Grant Brown was second (16:55.88) to lead Florence. Junior Kagen Sutton of Hatton clocked 17:41.03 to pace the Hornets in the 1A-3A race. Hatton won with 28 points and Colbert Heights was second with 55.
WHITE PLAINS TWILIGHT MEET: Jake Moore of White Plains ran the 5,000 meters in 18:06.47 to claim the large-school division individual championship. The Wildcats won the team title with 39 points. Anniston and Alexandria were 2-3 at 66 and 67 points, respectively.
Pleasant Valley won the small-school race with 24 points as Matisse Miller finished second with a time of 18:01.87.
TRINITY TRAILBLAZER INVITATIONAL: Judson Hardin of Alabama Christian ran 18:21.26 to win the individual boys’ race held at Young Meadows in Montgomery. Hollis Johnson was second (19:02.14), leading Montgomery Catholic to the team championship. The Knights finished with 29 points and LAMP was second with 74. A total of 90 runners were in the field.
2017 NORTH-SOUTH CROSS COUNTRY ALL-STARS
NORTH GIRLS' ROSTER
Mountain Brook, Adm.
SOUTH GIRLS' ROSTER
St. Luke's Episcopal
Smiths Station, Adm.
NORTH BOYS' ROSTER
SOUTH BOYS' ROSTER
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.
MOULTON – Freshman distance runner Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic High School broke 18 minutes for the second straight year to claim the AHSAA Class 4A girls’ individual cross country championship Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds and Museum course.
Tyynismaa clocked 17:52.25 to win by almost a full minute over runner-up Cele Moon of Wilson. Her time was best among the 815 girls running in the 43rd state cross country championships held by the AHSAA.
Moon’s time of 18:51.47 led the way for the Warriors of Coach Robin Phillips to capture their second straight Class 4A girls’ team title. Mountain Brook also won the Class 7A state championship for the second time in a row – and extended the Lady Spartans’ current streak of state cross titles to 13 – including 11 in Class 6A from 2003-2013.
Other girls’ state champions at the 2015 AHSAA girls’ championships were: John Carroll Catholic (6A), Lawrence County (5A), Pleasant Valley (3A) and St. Bernard of Cullman (1A-2A).
Mountain Brook, coached by Michael McGovern, placed six runners in the top 17 finishers with senior Frances Patrick clocking 18:18.78 to claim the individual championship over sophomore Grace Jensen of McGill-Toolen. Jensen clocked 18:36.63 for second place. Patrick finished fourth as a junior.
Lady Spartans junior Anna Grace Morgan also finished in the Top 10 with a fifth-place finish. Mountain Brook, which now own s 23 girls’ cross country state titles, had 43 points and Hoover (79) was second, followed by Spain Park (92) and Auburn (95).
John Carroll Catholic won its second consecutive girls’ state cross country championship as sisters Lauren and Lindsey Granier finished almost in a dead heat at 3-4 in the 195-runner field.
The Lady Cavaliers of Coach Bryan Burgess totaled 55 points and Scottsboro finished second with 87.
Pelham senior Mary Grace Strozier won her second consecutive individual 6A title with a winning time of 18:36.38. Karsyn Whitehead of Scottsboro was second at 19:15.32, followed by Lauren Grainer at 19:22.02 and her sister Lindsey, 19:22.12. Th sisters finished 9th and 10th last season.
Coach Stanley Johnson’s Lady Red Devils edged out runner-up Randolph for the fourth time overall and the second year in a row with a winning total of 41 points. The Raiders were three back at 44. Only two points separated the two in 2014.
Eighth grader Isabel Valenzuela won her second individual title with a winning time of 18:23.14 – 1:10 faster than her closest challenger and second fastest time overall in any class in the 2015 competition.. Randolph’s Zoe Evans was second (19:33.44), Abby Nunnelly of Alexandria was third at 19:34.56. Eighth grader Emily Daniel paced Lawrence County with a fourth-place finish (19:37.20). Seventh grader Sadie Grace Thompson crossed the finish in fifth place just 10 seconds later.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 7, 2015) – Beginning with the 2016 high school track and field season, the head starter (or designee), rather than the implement inspector, shall inspect all starting blocks used in the running events.
The addition of Article 4 to Rule 3-6 was one of eight changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee at its June 15-17 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
“The committee did significant work in cleaning up some confusion regarding trials and passes by expanding terms contained in definitions,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee. “Likewise, changes were made to include the use of flags in field events and update cross country rules to reflect the current trends in the sport.”
Rules 6-1-1 through 5 were amended to expand and clarify the definitions for trials/attempts in throwing events. Rule 6-2-9 concerning a competitor’s initiation of a trial was consequently affected by the change. Similar revisions were made to Rules 7-1-1 through 7 and Rule 7-2-12 so the same clarification and expansion of definitions apply.
Other significant track and field rules changes included the revision of Rule 3-10-7. The rule now states that “the head event judge may be equipped with both a white and red flag” to signal whether a throwing attempt is fair or foul. The change will allow for more efficient administration of field events and for improved communication between officials, coaches and fans, Oakes said.
In cross country, Rule 9-3-3 was revised to recommend the use of a video or photograph to verify the order of finish in races in which the timing system indicates a differential of one-tenth of a second or less. Having the video as a back-up and a process in place for problems that may arise from the use of a computerized transponder/chip system is a good solution, Oakes said.
Added to Rule 9-3 is the recommendation of a finish corral at cross country meets where transponders are used for the order of finish.
Other changes to cross country included an addition to Rule 9-1-3, which now allows the use of double painted boundary lines and/or natural or artificial boundary markers as an alternative method to mark the course for both runners and spectators.
The remaining changes to track and field concern equipment standards. Rule 6-5-2 was added, specifying the maximum allowed diameter for indoor shot put to account for the synthetic cover that is not present on the outdoor implement. Rule 6-6-1 was revised to allow for the use of newer javelin materials such as carbon fiber. Finally, Rule 7-6-3 was altered to recommend that the takeoff board for long jump and triple jump be eight inches wide, but still allow for larger boards.
Track and field is the second-most popular sport for boys with 580,321 participants in 16,271 schools and is the No. 1 sport for girls with 478,885 participants in 16,217 schools during the 2013-14 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. Cross country is the seventh-most popular sport for boys with 252,547 participants in 14,473 schools and is the sixth-most popular sport for girls with 218,121 participants in 14,267 schools.
The AHSAA Cross Country Championships will be shown live over the NFHS TV Network Saturday morning for the second year in a row. The broadcast from Oakville Indian Mounds and Museum Park will begin with the first race at 8:30 a.m. (1A-2A girls) and will continue through the final race of the day (7A boys) scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m.
The subscription-based webcast can be accessed at the following link on the NFHS TV Network site:
The 2014-15 slate of AHSAA events to be live-streamed over the NFHS TV Network began last week with the Volleyball State Finals, the first national event on the Network this school year. That event made history in 2013 as the first state championship live-streamed over the NFHS TV Network. The first national event live-streamed was the AHSAA’s Champions Challenge football triple-header in 2013 at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.
RECORD NUMBER OF PLAYOFF GAMES SET FOR NFHS TV NETWORK LIVE STREAM
The NFHS TV Network will have a record number of live-streaming webcasts tonight with 22 school productions of AHSAA high school football playoff games on the schedule. Viewers can access the network by subscribing and logging in at:
The AHSAA ranked third nationally in the latest NFHS Network rankings for referrals. Illinois and Michigan ranked 1-2 with Alabama leading Section 3 associations with 4,725 referrals for the month. Tennessee was fifth and Georgia ranked ninth.
The AHSAA ranked eighth nationally with NFHS Network visits (16,015). Illinois ranked No. 1. The AHSAA also ranked eighth in new subscriptions (335) with ranked first nationally.
AHSAA member schools can participate year-round in the NFHS TV Network by joining through the NFHS Network’s School Broadcast Program. A record number of regular-season games were live-streamed by the school-produced, student-driven programs.
The NFHS TV Network announced Thursday the network now has more than 1,100 high schools in its School Broadcast Program. The Network also announced it is launching a school recognition program to honor and recognize those schools that produce events at the highest level and excel at marketing and promoting their online events. There are two levels of recognition: NFHS Network Select and NFHS Network Elite. Both will be eligible to earn extra revenue producing programing for the network outside of their own school events.
NFHS TV Network Live-Streaming Broadcasts
Week I (Football Playoffs – 22 productions)
Buckhorn at Hoover (Hoover HS is producer)
Foley at Auburn (Foley HS is producer)
Arab at Shades Valley (Arab HS is producer)
Arab at Shades Valley (Shades Valley HS is producer)
Bessemer City at Saraland (Saraland HS is producer)
Briarwood Christian at Florence (Florence HS is producer)
Daphne at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (Daphne HS is producer)
Daphne at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (Hillcrest HS is producer)
Hartselle at Homewood (Homewood HS is producer)
Minor at Muscle Shoals (Muscle Shoals HS is producer)
Pell City at Carver-Montgomery, Cramton Bowl (Carver HS is producer)
Wetumpka at Opelika (Wetumpka HS is producer)
Wetumpka at Opelika (Opelika HS is producer)
Moody at Guntersville (Guntersville HS is producer)
Jacksonville at Locust Fork (Jacksonville HS is producer)
North Jackson at Saks (Saks HS is producer)
Fultondale at Pike County (Pike County HS is producer)
Prattville Christian at Dale County (Dale County HS is producer)
Winston County at Madison Academy (Madison Academy is producer)
Geneva County at Goshen (Goshen HS is producer)
Houston Academy at Elba (Houston Academy HS is producer)
R.C. Hatch at Sweet Water (Sweet Water HS is producer)