Mountain Brook sweeps 6A, 7th straight for girlsScottsboro girls win 9th in a row; Carlos (17:43.57), Sieb (15:46.10) fastest of the dayMEET STORY by Arthur Mack
- Class 6A - Mountain Brook boys 48 over Hoover 59; Mountain Brook girls 32 over Bob Jones 107
- Class 5A - Spanish Fort boys 51 over Scottsboro 59; Scottsboro girls 61 over St. Paul's Episcopal 69
- Class 4A - UMS-Wright boys 26 over Lawrence County 51; UMS-Wright girls 20 over Rogers 58
- Class 3A - Randolph School boys 22 over Montgomery County 70; Montgomery Academy girls 39 over T.R. Miller 41
- Class 1A-2A - Hatton boys 38 over Cold Springs 75; American Christian Academy girls 39 over Athens Bible 85
- Led by Layton Dorsett's winning 15:59.07, Mountain Brook's boys won 6A for the 3rd time in 4 years, beating Hoover, 48-59
- Defending 5A champ Scottsboro was fronted by Lucas Sieb's 15:46.10 winner - best mark of the day - but Spanish Fort took a 51-59 verdict
- UMS-Wright’s boys scored 4 in the top 9 in 4A to roll over host Lawrence County, 26-51. Haleyville’s Fabian Cortez was the individual winner in 17:22.00
- Randolph dominated 3A, scoring 22 and winning by 48. Bayside Academy's Stuart Shoemaker won in 16:46.19
- Cold Springs’ Nathan and Nick Lewis ran 16:25.57 and 16:45.63 for a strong 1-2 in 1A-2A, but Hatton still won decisively, scoring 38 to Cold Springs' 75
- Mountain Brook's girls won their 7th in a row in 6A, scoring 32 to runner-up Bob Jones' 107. McGill-Toolen frosh Carmen Carlos stayed unbeaten in AL with a runaway 17:43.57 victory over defending champ Katie Huston
- Scottsboro picked up #9 in a row in 5A, scoring 61 and winning by 8 over St. Paul's Episcopal. John Carroll Catholic’s Rachel Roberts was the individual winner in 18:42.35
- In 4A, UMS-Wright rolled over defending champion Rogers, 20-58, but Rogers’ Katie Stewart won the individual race in 19:24.21
- T.R. Miller had 4 of the top 5 in 3A, led by winning 8th-grader Karisa Nelson (18:53.96), but Montgomery Academy came back with the best 5th-man to win, 39-41
- American Christian Academy girls ran away with the 1A-2A title, 39 to Athens Bible's 85. Shoals Christian's Amy McKelvey was fastest in 20:56.78
Mountain Brook and UMS-Wright score sweeps; Scottsboro girls, Randolph boys, and American Christian girls extend streaks; Carlos and Sieb run superb times
By ARTHUR L. MACK
OAKVILLE, AL., Saturday, November 14—In spite of sunny skies and decent temperatures, the course at the Oakville Indian Mounds Park wasn’t exactly in ideal shape for the Alabama High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships.
Rains from what was Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ida earlier in the week left most of the course underwater, and meet officials worked feverishly to get it in shape. Still, there were some muddy spots on the course, most notably at the starting line.
Nevertheless, there were plenty of outstanding performances, and athletes gave it their all—so much so, in fact, that several of them collapsed from exhaustion.
For teams such as Mountain Brook and UMS-Wright, it was a time to celebrate sweeps. For Scottsboro’s girls, American Christian’s girls and Randolph’s boys it was a time to celebrate the extension of winning streaks. And for McGill-Toolen’s Carmen Carlos and Scottsboro’s Lucas Sieb, it was a time to prove that you don’t need a dry course to run fast races. Carlos, only a freshman, won the 6A girls’ race in a remarkable course record time of 17 minutes, 43.57 seconds, while Sieb dominated the 5A boys’ race, winning handily in 15:46.10—the fastest boys’ time of the day.
Here’s a recap of what happened:
6A: To no one’s surprise, Mountain Brook swept the boys and girls divisions. The boys won for the third time in four years, while the girls had an even more impressive feat—winning their seventh straight title.
In the boys’ race, the Spartans’ Layton Dorsett won going away in 15:59.07, and while Mountain Brook had only one other runner in the top 10, it scored runners in 11th, 13th, and 14th to outscore archrival Hoover, 48-59, with Oak Mountain a distant third with 104.
The Mountain Brook girls were even more dominant, placing five runners in the top 10, scoring-wise, to net 32 points – well ahead of second-place Bob Jones (107) and Auburn (131). Marie Demedicis led the Lady Spartans, finishing fourth in 19:03.99, with Annie Newton and Catherine Diethelm scoring fifth and seventh, respectively, to help cement the win.
It was Carlos, though, who was the talk of the meet. With some formidable competition in two-time individual state champion Katie Huston of Sparkman and Kristin Parry of Prattville, it shaped up (at least on paper) as a close race.
It wasn’t to be, as Carlos got out early, going through the first mile in 5:20 and breaking away from Huston to cruise to an easy win, beating Huston by more than a minute. Carlos’ teammate, Elizabeth (Sage) Blackwell – only a sophomore herself – ran the race of her life to finish fifth in 19:14.86 to lead the Yellow Jackets to a fourth-place finish (134 points).
“The course was a little bit muddy in some places, but I was excited I was able to get a personal best,” said Carlos. “The weather was not too hot and not too cold, and I wanted to see how I felt in the first part of the race.”
“Right before the race started, I told Carmen that Huston was a ‘giant killer,’ said McGill-Toolen coach Drew Bentley. Last year, Huston had stunned Mountain Brook’s now-graduated Madeline Morgan. “Everything (strategy wise) worked out, and it was a great day. By getting two runners in the top five, it shows that we’re on the way up.”
5A: This had to be, by far, the most dramatic division of all.
Scottsboro, the defending boys’ champion, was once thought to be a lock to win, primarily because of Sieb – the defending 5A individual champion – and a group of up-and-coming young runners. But the Wildcats were bettered by Spanish Fort in the two previous meets where they faced each other.
Still, the Toros were not ranked among the elite teams in the state, which ultimately played into their hands. It resulted in a close 51-59 win for Spanish Fort, with Fort Payne a surprising third with 105 points.
As expected, Sieb won the individual title going away, running away from St. Paul’s Stuart Graham (16:03.21) and Spanish Fort’s Brett Hanke (16:10.70). But the real battle was just beginning.
Hanke’s teammates, Wren Smith, Ben Redman, and Trevor Stevens were closing in for the finish, and it looked as if the Toros had the title. But Smith, overcome by exhaustion after a gritty effort, fell 100 feet from the finish and was unable to continue.
That left Redman and Stevens to carry the slack, which they did, finishing fourth and fifth. Andrew Hollingsworth finished 11th to keep Spanish Fort in the hunt. It was up to the next available Toro runner, junior D. J. Sheridan, to gain points—which he did, finishing in 27th overall and scoring 26th to ensure the win.
“Wren falling down was the worst feeling I ever felt,” said Hanke afterwards. “But D.J. stepped up, and everyone gave 110 percent.”
“It can’t get any worse than having a guy falling down 100 feet from the finish line,” said Spanish Fort coach Chris Schmidt. “But our guys really stepped up and we were strong all the way through. Hopefully Wren will be okay, though.”
Scottsboro’s girls didn’t have to worry about a runner collapsing from exhaustion, but the Lady Wildcats still needed every point they could get in a narrow 61-69 win over Mobile’s St. Paul’s Episcopal. Cullman was third with 114 points.
John Carroll Catholic’s Rachel Roberts was the individual winner in 18:42.35, but St. Paul’s Margaret Harkness was second in 19:22.71, 10 seconds ahead of Scottsboro’s Maggie Thompson. Then the Lady Wildcats scored a pair of runners before St. Paul’s second scorer, and their fourth scorer – freshman Hailey Altonji (14th, 20:53.15) – beat out St. Paul’s third and fourth scorers to ice the win.
4A: This looked to be the year that Mobile’s UMS-Wright was primed to sweep the boys and girls divisions, and the Bulldogs delivered big time.
UMS-Wright’s boys scored 2-3-5-7-9 to defeat host Lawrence County, 26-51, while Haleyville was third with 89 points. Individually, Haleyville’s Fabian Cortez was the winner in 17:22.00.
But UMS-Wright seniors Ritchie Huettemann and Reid Harvey finished third and fourth overall, while another senior Kelley Cuttrell finished sixth. Freshman Chase Tan finished ninth and seventh-grader Robert Hope 10th, while Lawrence County’s third runner, Jesse Logan, finished 15th overall.
“We had a big race from Reid today,” said Bulldog coach Pat Galle. “Our team captains (Huettemann and Cuttrell) led the way. Chase really came on strong this year, and I’m looking for a lot of good things from Robert.”
Huttemann had this to say: “We just didn’t want to be too cocky coming in, but we figured we had a chance to win. We wanted to work together and not get spread out too much.”
The UMS-Wright’s girls were even more dominant, crushing defending champion Rogers, 20-58. Though Rogers’ Katie Stewart won the race in 19:24.21, it was pretty much all-UMS-Wright after that, with Claire Kennedy (19:50.81), Kristen Lazarchick (20.21.96), Claire Speegle (20:26.71), Kathryn Lazarchick (20:31.62), and Charlotte Galloway (20:37.92) taking the next five places
“We tried to pack it tight, and we were able to do a good job down the stretch,” said Galle. “It showed a lot of confidence from young runners.”
Lawrence County was third with 89 points.
3A: Bayside Academy’s Stewart Shoemaker won the battle, but it was the Randolph School that won the war.
Shoemaker, a senior, survived an early threat from a quartet of Randolph runners to win the race in 16:46.19, with T.R. Miller’s Brandon Nelson second in 16:52.95. But Randolph, led by sophomore Leland Collins, took the next four places to defeat Montgomery Academy, 22-70, with Altamont of Birmingham close behind in third with 73 points.
In 3A girls, T.R. Miller took four of the first five places. Eighth-grader Karisa Nelson won in 18:53.96, with her sister Katie second (19:32.02), Shelby Youngblood third (19:48.55), and Amber Nelson fifth (20:12.16).
Dominating enough to win the meet, right? Wrong.
Maggie Rickard finished fourth for Montgomery Academy in 20:02.83, and her teammates put four more runners in the top 16 before T. R. Miller’s number five runner scored at number 30. It resulted in a narrow 39-41 win for MA, while Randolph was third with 83.
1A-2A: True to form, Cold Springs’ Nathan Lewis ran away with the 1A-2A boys’ race, winning in 16:25.57, while his brother Nick was second in 16:45.63.
But it was Hatton which had the last laugh, team-wise, as it repeated as champions, defeating Cold Springs, 38-75. Athens Bible finished third with 99 points. Hatton, led by Blake Brackin’s third-place finish (17:28.59), placed all five of its scorers in the top 15.
Cold Springs also had hard luck on the girls’ side, as race favorite Palee Myrex, who had a 50-meter lead, collapsed from exhaustion 70 meters from the finish. She tried to get up, but collapsed again and had to be taken off the course.
Meanwhile, American Christian Academy got a 5-6-7 finish from Rachael Mills (21:25.04), Kaitlin York (21:46.86) and Sara Gibson (21:50.56) to win its third straight title—a 39-85 rout of Athens Bible, with Cold Springs third (120 points).
9:00 a.m. - 3A Girls
9:20 a.m. - 6A Girls
9:40 a.m. - 5A Girls
10:00 a.m. 3A Boys
10:20 a.m. 6A Boys
10:40 a.m. 5A Boys
11:00 a.m. - 1A-2A Girls
11:20 a.m. - 4A Girls
11:40 a.m.- 1A-2A Boys
12:00 p.m. - 4A Boys Awards Ceremony