MONTGOMERY – The 62nd annual AHSAA Cross Country State Championships get underway Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum Saturday with competition getting underway with the Class 6A girls’ championship at 8:30 a.m.. The final race of the day will be Class 3A boys’ competition at 12:10 p.m.
Defending boys’ champions are Auburn (7A), Homewood (6A), Scottsboro (5A), LAMP (4A), American Christian (3A) and St. Bernard (1A/2A). Defending girls’ champions are Huntsville (7A), Homewood (6A), St. Paul's Episcopal (5A), Randolph (4A), Pleasant Valley (3A), and Westminster-Oak Mountain (1A/2A).
Junior Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic will be vying for her fourth state title and will be chasing her own state record (17:03.4) set in the 2014 state championships when she was just an eighth grader. She almost equaled her 2016 state-meet winning time (18:07.86) at the Class 4A, Section 1 competition at Loxley Park in Baldwin County last week with as first-place finish 18:15.52.
On the boys’ side, junior Will Stone of Homewood is seeking his second straight Class 6A boys’ cross country championship. He has been consistently strong all season and clocked 16:33 in his section race. The fastest boys’ section times were turned in by two Huntsville runners at the Class 7A Section 4 championships last week. Senior Cameron Cox won the boys’ competition with a time of 15:48.81 and teammate Nick Ceci, a junior, was right behind at 15:53.04. Grissom junior Allen Anderson was third at the Huntsville race running 15:55.78.
The complete race schedule is listed below.
62ND AHSAA State Cross Country Championships
Saturday, Nov. 11, Oakville Indian Mounds Park & Museum
Class 6A Girls championship, 8:30 a.m.
Class 1A/2A Boys championship, 8:50 a.m.
Class 5A Girls championship, 9:10 a.m.
Class 6A Boys championship. 9:30 a.m.
Class 1A/2A Girls championship, 9:50 a.m.
Class 5A Boys championship, 10:10 a.m.
Class 7A Girls championship, 10:30 a.m.
Class 4A Boys championship, 10:50 a.m.
Class 3A Girls championship, 11:10 a.m.
Class 7A Boys championship, 11:30 a.m.
Class 4A Girls championship, 11:50 a.m.
Class 3A Boys championship, 12:10 p.m.
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.
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.
BULLFROG POND CLASSIC: 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.
HELENA INVITATIONAL: 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.
MONTGOMERY – Homewood High School junior Will Stone clocked 15:22.12 to win the Gold Division of the 19th annual Jesse Owens Cross Country Invitational at Oakville Indian Mounds Park near Moulton last weekend.
The Jesse Owens meet is one of the most prestigious high school meets in the nation with 1,375 boys’ participants representing 158 teams competing this year. The girls’ division had 1,209 runners representing 138 schools. Schools competed in five different divisions (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Green and Red). More than 3,000 runners competed counting the middle school and junior varsity divisions.
A total of 303 runners participated in the Gold Division with Vestavia Hills senior James Sweeney finishing second with a time of 16:25.01.
Pope High School of Marietta (GA) captured the team championship with 155 points. Siegel of Murfreesboro (TN) was second with 179. Enterprise was the top Alabama team finishing third with 292 points.
Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic turned her in best time of the season and the fastest time in the state in 2017 in the girls’ Gold Division to win with a time of 17:50.51. The talented junior’s time over the 5,000-meter course at Oakhill was also the best of the year in the state. McGill-Toolen Catholic senior Grace Jensen was second at 18:07.88. Auburn won Gold Division team championship in the 27-team field with 60 points. Houston of Germantown (TN) was second with 111.
The Jesse Owens Classic highlighted the week’s competition and grabbed the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for week 6 of the 2017 season.
Other cross country highlights from the past week include:
JESSE OWENS CLASSIC (Silver Division): McGill-Toolen Catholic posted 195 points and finished second in the 19th annual Invitational’s Silver Division to Pearl (MS), which had 57. Connor Sims, a junior at Brewer High School, crossed the finish line in fourth place with a time of 16:46.34 for the top Alabama runner finish. Junior Alex Ponce of Merrol Hyde Magnet of Hendersonville (TN) won the race in 16:33.66.
JESSE OWENS CLASSIC (Bronze Division): Senior Fuad Qushair of St. John Paul II Catholic won the meet’s bronze division with a time of 16:42.76. Winfield junior Davis Holdbrooks was second at 16:48.2. Montgomery Catholic won the team title with 117 points. Trinity Presbyterian was second at 119. A total of 431 runners participated.
JESSE OWENS CLASSIC (Red Division): A total of 498 runners representing 39 teams competed in the Red Division race comprised of predominantly 6A and 7A schools. Franklin (TN) won with 54 points. Homewood was the top AHSAA team finishing sixth with 179 points. Prattville senior Wesley Domsalla crossed the finish line in second place with a time of 17:333.48. Gavin DeJongh, a freshman at Franklin, finished first clocking 17:31.40.
JESSE OWENS CLASSIC (Green Division): St. Bernard senior Andrew Sweeney was first in the field of 337 runners with a winning time of 16:34.71 in the Green Division consisting of teams from Class 1A-3A. Westminster of Oak Mountain senior Nate Collins was second at 16:44.66. Hebron Christian of Dacula (GA) won the team title with 44 points. Westminster was second with 74 points. Thirty-six teams competed for the championship.
T.R. MILLER CHALLENGE: Zion Chapel runner Austin Joye finished the 5,000-meter course in 18:45.87 to finish third behind Pensacola-Tate’s Brandon Knieja (17:52.83). Tailand Mitchell finished two seconds behind Joye in fourth place in the 119-runner field to lead T.R. Miller to the team championship. The Tigers had 53 points.
TITANS TRAIL INVITATIONAL: Gadsden City won its own meet with 35 points as Jonah Morris crossed the finish line first clocking 20:03.16 for the Titans. Camron McDaniel of Cedar Bluff was second running 20:16.16.
GUNTERSVILLE INVITATIONAL (1A-4A Division): Brindlee Mountain won the 1A-4A race held at Corners Island on Lake Guntersville with 21 points as Brandon Mendez finished first with 17:34.87 time. Brindlee Mountain teammates Zach Mooneyham and Brighten Davis were third and fourth, respectively, in the field of 41 runners. DAR’s Kyle Saylor finished second clocking 17:14.74 .99 to lead the Patriots to second place (38).
GUNTERSVILLE INVITATIONAL (5A-7A Division): Guntersville’s Sam Moultrie won the 5A-7A Division with a strong time of 16:29.75 in the 79-runner field. Chance Cofield led Albertville to the team title with a second-place time of 17:07.07. The Aggies had 31 points. Runner-up Guntersville totaled 51.
MONTGOMERY -- Smiths Station High School junior Silas Franklin turned in the best time of the week for AHSAA runners with a meet-winning 15:56.83 to win the Smiths Station Panther Invitational boys cross country race. He was first in a field of 115 runners and captured the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for Week 5 of the 2017 season.
Alex Salgado helped Auburn to the team title with a third-place finish and 16:30.98 time. The Tigers had 30 points and runner-up Smiths Station scored 49.
Other cross country highlights from the past week include:
OAK MOUNTAIN INVITATIONAL: Northside runner Tanner King ran the Heardmont Park course in 16:31.60 to nip John McCrackin of Hoover, who a ran a 16:44.49 time to finish second in the field of 227. Coach Devon Hind’s Bucs won the team competition with 50 points. Oak Mountain was second with 53.
HUNTSVILLE CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Grissom won the meet with a perfect 15 score and had 12 runners finish in the top 16. Senior Jackson Thomas won the two-mile race in 10:53.94.
ARAB INVITATIONAL: Randolph won the team championship in the 1A/4A division boys’ race with 47 points and Matthew Estopinal beat the field of 120 runners with a winning time of 17:01.56 over the Arab City Park Course. Daniel Tully of Ashville was second at 17:42.54.
COLD SPRINGS 13TH KUDZU HILLS INVITATIONAL: St. Bernard’s Andrew Sweeney recorded a strong time of 16:16.12 to beat the field of 195 runners to win the Class 1A-3A race at the annual invitational. Asher Desai of Altamont was second at 16:28.38. Pleasant Valley won the team title with 81 points with Matisse Miller finishing fourth for the Raiders with a 16:39.28 time. Cold Springs was second with 96 points. A field of 182 runners competed in the Class 5A-7A race with Lawrence County winning the team competition with 78 points over runner-up Decatur (105). Haleyville’s Hamza Abusammour finished first with a time of 16:44.61, and Blake Terry second for the winning Red Devils clocking 17:08.48.
HOUSTON ACADEMY INVITATIONAL: Enterprise dominated the boys’ competition in the race held on the campus of Troy University-Dothan with the Wildcats placing the first five runners in the 95-participant field to record a perfect 15 team score. Gabriel Henneberger won the race with a winning time of 17:12.04. Houston Academy was second in the team competition with 68 points.
DAPHNE INVITATIONAL: Thompson junior Brandon DeMarcus Lee ran the 5,000-meter race at Blakeley State Park in Spanish Fort to win the meet with a 15:59.70 time. Warriors’ teammate Jace Jones was second clocking 16:36.30. Thompson won the team competition with 28 points. Baker was second with 54.
MORTIMER JORDAN INVITATIONAL: Shades Valley runner Sebastian Sanders won the 5,000-meter race held at North Jefferson Middle School with a time of 18:13.12 in the 89-runner field. Seth Lord finished second at 19:02.67 for Pinson Valley to lead the Indians to the team title. Pinson totaled 37 points.
WARRIORS INVITATIONAL: Hatton junior Kagen Sutton ran the course at Wilson High School in 17:18.58 to beat the field of 113 runners in the Class 1A-3A race. Elkmont’s Chase Prater was second at 17:26.26. Grant Brown of Florence and Davis Holdbrooks of Winfield were 1-2 in the Class 4A-7A race with a dazzling photo finish. Brown was clocked at 16:46.68 and Holdbrooks was timed at 16:46.69.
HUNTSVILLE CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Grissom won the title with 15 points as Janey McManus clocked a 12:02.08 over the two-mile course to win the individual title. Hannah Tarwater of Whitesburg Christian was a close second at 12:05.13. Westminster Christian finished second in the team competition with 46 points.
OAK MOUNTAIN INVITATIONAL: Hoover’s Ava Weems ran the 5,000-meter course at Heardmont Park in 20:07.38 to take first place in the field of 140 runners. Bucs teammate Sydney Steely finished second with a 20:19.64 time as Hoover won the team title with 21 points. Oak Mountain was second with 75.
ARAB INVITATIONAL: Randolph swept the girls’ competition in the 1A/4A division of the meet held at Arab City Park scoring 23 points. DAR was second with 40. Emma Hudson led the Raiders with a winning time of 21:31.47. Finishing second in the field of 81 runners was Ashville’s Meghan McCarthy, who clocked 21:52.71.
COLD SPRINGS 13TH KUDZU HILLS INVITATIONAL: Whitesburg Christian’s Hannah Tarwater and Caroline Summers finished 1-2 in 129-runner field of the annual meet’s Class 1A-3A division with times of 19:22.58 and 19:32.05, respectively. Pleasant Valley won the team competition with 35 points and runner-up Hatton had 89. Lawrence County won the championship in the Class 5A-7A competition with 18 points – placing five runners in the top six finishers. Savannah Williams won with a time of 19:49.02 for Coach Stanley Johnson’s Lady Red Devils. Emily Daniel was second just four seconds behind her teammate.
SMITHS STATION PANTHER INVITATIONAL: Junior Amaris Tyynismaa averaged just under six minutes a mile to win the Panther Invitational in 18:36.38. The Montgomery Catholic runner finished 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Samantha Rogers, who led Auburn to the team title with a time of 18:55.76. The Tigers placed five runners in the top six finishers of the 75-participant field to score 20 points. Catholic was second with 45.
DAPHNE INVITATIONAL: McGill-Toolen Catholic senior Grace Jensen won the meet at Blakeley State Park clocking 18:13.50. Junior McKenzie Hogue of Thompson finished a close second with a time of 18:13.50 in the field of 121 runners. Baker won the team title with 28 points.
HOUSTON ACADEMY INVITATIONAL: Enterprise swept the team competition with 20 points. Northview runner Makennah Mills crossed the finish line first. The Northview runner clocked 20:28.52 to finish ahead of Enterprise’s Sarah Francis, who was second in the field of 72 runners at 21:20.34. Northview finished second with 69 points.
MORTIMER JORDAN INVITATIONAL: Tatiana Padgett clocked 22.13.13 to win the meet for Pinson Valley. Savannah Englisee of Mortimer Jordan was second at 23:23.72.
WARRIORS INVITATIONAL: Sophomore runner Kasey Eziekel of Colbert Heights clocked 21:28.38 over the 5,000-meter course to win the Class 1A-3A race at the meet hosted by Wilson High School. Hatton’s Ally Amerson was second with a time of 21:36.89. Winning the 5A-7A division was Mary Claire Ridgeway, a freshman from Florence. Her time was 19:14.38. Wilson senior Phoebe Moon was second at 20:21.48. More than 170 girls competed in the two races.
MONTGOMERY – Vestavia Hills senior cross country runner James Sweeney ran the AHSAA’s fastest 5,000-meter time of the season to win the individual boys’ title at the Twilight Panther Prowl cross country meet hosted by Huntsville High School at John Hunt Park last Saturday.
Sweeney won the meet with a time of 15:32.26, almost 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Cameron Cox of Huntsville, also a senior, and beating a field of 116 participants. Sweeney’s time was faster than last year’s Class 7A state championship winning time (15:39.70) clocked by Hoover’s Tommy McDonough and 42 seconds faster than his own 19th-place finish time of 16:22.38).
Cox, who finished 29th in last year’s state meet at Oakville, improved his 2016 time by 32 seconds to help Huntsville win the team title in the Twilight Panther Prowl. The Panthers placed four runners in the top 11 finishers and posted 42 points to take the championship. Vestavia Hills was tied for second with 97 points and Scottsboro finished fourth with 135.
The fastest AHSAA state-meet winning time in history came in 1996 when LeFlore’s Cordell Seals won the 5,000-meter race in 15:18.70. Seals went on to run cross country at LSU in the late 1990s.
Junior Kagen Sutton of Hatton, who was fifth in last year’s Class 1A/2A state meet, beat his 2016 time by two seconds to win the 1A/4A boys’ race at John Hunt Park with a 16:56.11 time. The Hornets won the team title as well with 71 points, three better than runner-up DAR. James Cain of Priceville was second (17:03.07) in the 104-runner field.
In the girls’ competition at the Panther Prowl meet, Auburn won the team title in the big-school division with 21 points. Sophomores Samantha Rogers and Harper McGowan finished 1-2 for the Coach Naomi Bergh’s Tigers with times of 18:25.46 and 18:43.72, respectively. The pair finished in the top five of the Class 7A state meet last year with McGowan crossing the finish line fourth and Rogers fifth. Huntsville was second with 41 points.
Junior Julianne Hill of Madison Academy won the 1A/4A division in 21:07.72. Hatton won the team competition with 45 points.
In other cross country highlights reported:
TANNER KING, NORTHSIDE: Crossed the finish line with a winning time of 16:13.64 to win the TCBY Invitational’s Class 4A/7A division at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. Hunter Harwell led Mountain Brook to the team title with a second-place finish and a time of 16:28.92 in the field of 103 runners. The Spartans totaled 26 points and Lawrence County was runner-up with 83.
TAYLOR RAY, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Led the Patriots to the 1A/3A division championship of the TCBY Invitational at Tuscaloosa’s Sokol Park with a winning time of 16:43.18 Altamont’s Asher Desai was second (17:16.49). American Christian had 34 points and Altamont had 47 to finish second.
BRANDON DEMARCUS LEE, THOMPSON: Won the Shelby County Cross Country Championship race with a solid time of 16:39.22 over the 5,000-meter Veterans Park Course at Alabaster on Monday. Teammate Jace Jones was second at 17:03.94. Oak Mountain won the boys’ title with 37 points, and the Warriors were second 42. The Eagles placed five runners in the top 10 with Jonah Barrett crossing fifth with a time of 17:17.66.
CHARLIE LOTT, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Won the Central Alabama Cross Country Invitational at Montgomery’s Gateway Park with a winning time of 16:42.0. The junior won the 111-runner competition finishing 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Matthew Estopinal of Randolph by almost 16 seconds. Auburn won the team title with 43 points. Trinity was second with 60.
JAKE MOORE, WHITE PLAINS: Won the Volunteer Spirit Classic hosted by Central-Clay County with a winning time of 18:40.90. Jaylon Hudson of Lincoln was second (18:58.60). The race had 103 runners. Pleasant Valley won the team competition with 35 points, and White Plains was second with 56.
JONATHAN BERTUCCI, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Turned in a solid time of 16:37.70 to finished third in 313-runner field at Gulf Coast Cross Country Stampede invitational at Pensacola, FL. Teammate Evan Hendry was fourth at 16:44.30. The Saints tied Niceville, FL with 98 points in the team competition but finished second in the tie-breaker.
ANDREW SWEENEY, ST. BERNARD: The Saints senior and 2016 Class 1A/2A state meet runner-up won the 1A/4A division of the Fairview Invitational meet in Cullman County with a winning time of 16:39.93 in the field of 101 runners. He bettered his time in last season’s AHSAA Class 1A/2A state meet by eight seconds. Brindlee Mountain’s Brandon Mendez was second at 18:18.42. J.B. Pennington won the team competition with 49 points, and St. Bernard was second with 74.
ELI WILHITE, CULLMAN: Led a strong contingent of Bearcats runners with a winning time of 16:31.55 to finish first in the Class 5A/7A field of 89 participants at the Fairview Invitational meet last Saturday. Cullman totaled 20 points to finish first over runner-up Hartselle, which had 58 points. The senior finished 10th in the Class 6A state championships at Oakville last season. Jackson Tucker, Tucker Adkison, Edgar Medina and Will Thompson also finished among the top eight runners. Tucker was second at 17:03.98, and Adkison was third at 17:10.31.
PRESLEY MILES, SAINT JAMES: The freshman clocked 19:02.38 over the 5,000-meter course at Tuscaloosa’s Sokol Park to win the individual title in the Class 4A/7A division of the TCBY Invitational meet Saturday. Miles, who was state runner-up in the 4A meet last season, was just 14 seconds off her 2016 time, to beat the 88-runner field. Mountain Brook won the team title with 23 points. Anna Balzli led six Spartans in the top 10 with a second-place time of 19:13.54. Lawrence County was second with 50 points.
BECCA BILLMAN, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Clocked 19:53.00 to win the individual competition at TCBY Invitational’s 1A/3A division. Isabella Rowland led Montgomery Academy to the team championship by finishing second with a time of 20:41.68. The Eagles had 43 points and Altamont was second with 46.
McKENZIE HOUGE, THOMPSON: Won the Shelby County Cross Country girls’ individual title Monday with a winning time of 20:17.52 in the 96-runner field at Veterans Park. Oak Mountain won the team title with 23 points and Briarwood was second with 70. Leading the Eagles was Evie Bell, who finished third with a 20:56.36 time. Nicole Payne, Kate Van Beek, Emma Grace Phillips and Anna McGowan also finished in the top 10 for Oak Mountain.
AMARIS TYYNISMAA, MONTGOMERY-CATHOLIC: The junior beat the 74-runner field by 90 seconds as the Lady Knights won the team championship of the Central Alabama Cross Country Invitational at Montgomery’s Gateway Park. She finished with a time of 19:26.70 over the 5,000-meter distance. Fairhope seniors Lexie Williams and Audrey Clark finished 2-3 with times of 20:56.12 and 21:12.13. Randolph was second with 51 points and Fairhope was third with 73.
ABBY NUNNELLY, ALEXANDRIA: The junior, who finished fifth the Class 5A state championships last season, clocked 21:12.30 to win the Volunteer Spirit Classic meet at Central-Clay County on Saturday. Rachel Faucett and Trinity Roberts finished 2-3 to lead Pleasant Valley to the team title of the 66-runner field.
GRACE JENSEN, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: The runner-up and top returning finisher from the 2016 Class 7A state championships ran strong at the Gulf Coast Cross Country Stampede race at Pensacola with a time of 18:42.70 to finish second. John Carroll Catholic senior Lindsey Granier and T.R. Miller freshman Olivia Blackmon also finished in the Top 10 at fourth and sixth, respectively. McGill-Toolen was sixth overall, best of any AHSAA school. Niceville won the title.
LEAHROSE MAMI, ST. BERNARD: Last season’s AHSAA Class 1A/2A state meet runner-up won the Class 1A/4A race at Fairview Invitational on Saturday with a time of 21:15.47 to lead the Saints to the team championship. St. Bernard scored 49 points and Sardis was second with 66. Brea Bryan of Falkville was second clocking 22:43.09. A total of 81 runners competed.
MEGAN SCHWARZE, ARAB: Captured the individual title of the Fairview Invitational’s Class 5A/7A competition clocking 20:25.35 to beat the field of 49 runners. Teammate Emma Stewart was second (21:05.94). Cullman won the team title with 29 points with Della Kelly finishing fifth.
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.