Four former Scottsboro High School cross country standouts enjoyed a strong start to their 2021 college seasons.

Auburn freshmen Cooper and Benson Atkins helped the Tigers win the team title while UNA senior Devin Berry and freshman Noah Bonsall helped the Lions finish third in the 2021 Jacksonville State Foothills College Invitational 5K at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on Sept. 3.

Cooper Atkins’ college debut featured a fourth-place finish with a time of 13:35.32 while his twin brother Benson Atkins was 26th with a time of 16:37.84. 

Berry finished 15th (16:19.48) for UNA while Bonsall, making his college cross country debut, placed 27th (16:39.23) in the 119-runner field.

Cooper Atkins collects SEC honor — Auburn cross country newcomer Cooper Atkins was named the SEC Men’s Cross Country Freshman Runner of the Week by the conference office Tuesday after a strong collegiate debut at the Foothills Invitational.

The former individual and five-time team state champion at Scottsboro finished fourth to give Auburn a sweep of placements one through four. It was the Tigers’ first team win since the 2017 season.

Atkins was the top freshman finisher in the race. The next closest freshman at the meet finished in 10th place.

Thomas runs first race for Auburn-Montgomery — Brady Thomas, a 2021 Scottsboro graduate, made his college cross country debut for Auburn-Montgomery (AUM) during the City Auto Memphis Twilight XC Classic on Sept. 4.

Thomas finished 103rd in the four-mile race with a time of 22:03.25.

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