Championships up for grabs in Saturday’s AHSAA state cross country meet

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Josh McBrayer

OAKVILLE – Two schools that have battled each other through the regular season now get one final opportunity to go at it with the grand prize waiting for the winner.

Cold Springs High School and St. Bernard Prep highlight a list of schools that will be seeking the blue hardware Saturday in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Cross Country Championships.

The Eagles have won back-to-back state titles in the 1A/2A division, as have the Lady Saints.

Cold Springs' girls have been competitive during the fall and present a challenge to St. Bernard. It's vise-versa with the Saints poised to end the Eagles' quest of a three-peat.

Then add the Fairview Aggies for the 5A classification, the Cullman Lady Bearcats and Bearcats going to the course in Class 6A, with a few individuals that qualified last Thursday in sectional meets.

Oakville Indian Mounds Park & Museum, just off Alabama Highway 157 in Oakville, is the venue once again for AHSAA cross country.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Class 5A Girls 8:30 a.m.
  • Class 4A 9:10 a.m.
  • Class 7A Girls 9:30 a.m.
  • Class 5A 9:50 a.m.
  • Class 7A 10:10 a.m.
  • Class 3A Girls 10:30 a.m.
  • Class 6A 10:50 a.m.
  • Class 1A/2A Girls 11:10 a.m.
  • Class 3A 11:30 a.m.
  • Class 6A Girls 11:50 a.m.
  • Class 1A/2A Boys 12:10 p.m.

Award ceremonies will be at 10:15 a.m. for 5A, 10:45 a.m. for 4A, 11:15 a.m. for 7A and 12:50 p.m. for 1A/2A, 3A & 6A.

Team previews:

Cold Springs Lady Eagles – First in 1A/2A Section 2 meet last week at Cold Springs. Eighth-grader Brooke Crider had best time with fifth-place finish of 21:23, followed by Ava Akridge, Sadie Terry, Alyssa Jackson and Ashleigh White in 6th through 10th positions. Young squad with White the oldest, a sophomore, Akridge is an eighth grader, Terry and Jackson are freshmen who ran for Clay Campbell last season.

Cold Springs Eagles – First in 1A/2A Section 2 Meet at Cold Springs. Defending state champions are anchored by junior C.J. Lang who won the sectional at 16:32. His experienced partner, senior Jared Stanley, was third at 16:56.

Remainder of the unit is young with freshmen Jonathan Collett, Aaron Spurger, Cale Akridge, Will Grimmett and sophomore Trentan Williams that have given coach Campbell's squad consistency all season long.

St. Bernard Lady Saints – First in 1A/Section 3 Meet last week at Good Hope. Defending state champions have a solid leader in Leahrose Mami, who tuned up for the state by winning the sectional at 20:23. The junior has run a 5K this season under the 20:00 mark and has the potential, if everything works out regarding weather, etc.

Sophomore Ivy Edge was third in the sectional with freshmen Lizbeth Medina, Claite Sanders and senior Katelyn Cowie, sophomore Adrian Smith and eighth-grader Anna Beth Guthrey finishing among the Top 11 in the sectional.

Coach William Calvert's squad has tested numerous courses all season, including Oakville Indian Mounds in early September when they competed in the Chickasaw Trails Invitational.

St. Bernard Saints –  First in 1A/2A Section 3 Meet at Good Hope. Senior Casey Guthery has excelled throughout the 2016 season and had a solid effort in the sectional with a winning time of 17:01. Junior Andrew Sweeney has kept on his heels all fall as he did last week with a runner-up finish.

Calvert will look for the same quality he has witnessed during the year by seniors Isaiah Robles, Marco Tona, freshman Caleb Guthery and sophomore Joey McCarthy. All finished in the sectional in the Top 10.

Fairview Aggies – Third in 5A, Section 3 Meet at Fairview. Looking to battle a superior Lawrence County squad on their own course, Hobson Hite's Aggies will call on junior Cody Fallin and freshman Quinton Chambers to lead the squad.

They have been the 1-2 punch for the Aggies throughout the fall schedule. Senior Jacob Guthrie, sophomores Will Butler and Blake Hogan compiled a good run in regards to point production during the sectional with all in the Top 35.

Cullman Lady Bearcats – Second in 6A, Section 5 Meet at Scottsboro. Cullman will seek another solid run from junior Rachael Collins after she placed ninth in the sectional meet at 21:53. Senior Kendall Adkison, freshmen Della Kelly, Mattie Green, seventh-grader Olivia Craft and junior Alexandria Holt ran well with each getting a finish in the Top 30 to put the team second in the sectional behind Fort Payne.

Cullman Bearcats – First in 6A, Section 5 Meet at Scottsboro. The Bearcats won the sectional with senior Joey Franklin getting second, junior Eli Wilhite fifth, sophomore Jackson Tucker eighth, junior Tucker Adkison ninth and sophomore Atticus Philips 12th place. That allowed the Bearcats to distance themselves from runner-up Albertville and carry momentum into the final assignment of the season.

Individuals running in the AHSAA championships:

  • Camilla Chambers of Holly Pond – 1st in 3A, Section 4 Meet
  • Alex McDonald of Fairview – 4th in 5A, Section 3 Meet
  • Taylor Willingham of West Point – 15th in 5A, Section 3 Meet
  • Jacob Drane of Holly Pond – 4th in 3A, Section 4 Meet
  • Aaron Brown of Hanceville – 5th in 3A, Section 4 Meet
  • Zac Reynolds of Holly Pond – 12th in 3A, Section 4 Meet

Weather conditions should be ideal for the runners on Saturday. The National Weather Service is currently calling for sunny skies with morning temps in the upper 40s by the start of the first race with the high to reach the mid-60s in the afternoon.

A complete report of the AHSAA championships will be available by Saturday evening on our website, www.cullmansense.com.

 

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