HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State’s cross country teams made their 2020 season debuts at the Azalea City Classic in Mobile over the weekend.
Wallace State’s men finished third out of six teams and the women placed fifth in the opening event hosted by South Alabama.
In the men’s 5K, sophomore Jonathan Jenkins, a Beauregard grad, had Wallace State’s best finish, placing 15th overall with a 16:48.8.
Sophomore Taylor Nails and freshman Raleigh Stamps finished directly behind Jenkins. Nails, a Southside grad, finished with a 16:51.1 and Stamps with a 16:54.9. Stamps is a freshman from Rogers.
“We believe Taylor Nails and Jonathan Jenkins will be at the top for us all season. They both had great freshman seasons and should lead us,” said Wallace State coach Stan Narewski, who has led the men’s program to seven conference championships. “Raleigh Stamps is a name to watch out for as well.”
Trentan Williams placed 20th overall (17:04.9) for Wallace State, and Dakota Sheppard and Jakori James were 23rd and 24th respectively. Sheppard, a freshman from Brewer, ran a 17:21.3, and James, from Pearl Miss., finished with a 17:21.8. Williams is a Cold Springs grad.
Rounding out the field for the Wallace State men at South Alabama were Blake Terry (18:16.0), Jonathan Collett (18:42.0) and Dave Hubert (18:50.8). Terry is from Lawrence County High, Collett from Cold Springs and Hubert from Albertville.
Wallace State’s men placed ahead of Troy, Marion Military Institute and the University of Mobile. South Alabama won the event.
Freshmen Cole Akridge (Cold Springs) and Jason Manstream (Oneonta) also make up the men’s roster this season. Alex Shoaf is the manager.
“Our men’s group is as solid as it can be. You can draw our guys out of a hat and a new person could be the No. 1 during any given race,” Narewski said. “That’s a good feeling.”
In the women’s 5K, freshman Cassidy Winter had Wallace State’s top finish, placing 31st overall with a 21:37.3. Jennifer Aviles was right behind her with a 21:42.7. Winter is from West Limestone High and Aviles from Cullman.
“Cassidy Winter and Jennifer Aviles have led the charge since the first day of camp, and we believe they’ll be among the top runners in the conference,” Narewski said.
Freshman Jaycee Biffle (21:56.7) and sophomore Juliana Ballew (22:39.9) placed among the Top 40 for the Lady Lions. Biffle is from Rogers High and Ballew from Pleasant Valley.
Lanora Hill (22:50.2), Breanna Smith (22:57.6), Ally Amerson (23:17.1) and Katie O’Malley (23:17.1) made up the Lady Lions’ field. Hill is from Southside HS, Smith from J.B. Pennington, Amerson from Hatton and O’Malley from Rogers.
Sophomores Maggie Graham (Lawrence County) and Logan Ayers (St. Bernard) make up the rest of the Wallace State women’s roster this season. Yessinia Pascual-Contreras is the manager.
The women’s program has won four ACCC titles, including the last two.
Wallace State’s women finished ahead of the University of Mobile and Marion Military Institute.
Both Wallace State teams travel to Huntsville on Saturday for the UAH Invitational.
“Through all of the uncertainties (during the pandemic) and schedule changes, we’re looking to get better every day. We have a great group of runners and individuals. They are all a joy to be around,” Narewksi said.