The Pisgah girls and boys cross country teams booked return trips to state Friday morning.

The Pisgah boys finished second and the PHS girls were fourth in their respective 5K races during the Class 3A Section 4 Meet at Scottsboro High School’s John R. Esslinger Trail of Champions.

Pisgah’s girls have advanced to the state meet every season since the program started in 2009. Meanwhile, it’s the fourth straight state meet appearance for the Pisgah boys. The 2019 AHSAA Cross Country Championships are Nov. 9 at Oakville Indian Mounds Park.

“My kids worked real hard this year. Both teams ran a great race today. Had a lot of kids have their best time of the season,” said Pisgah head coach Gus Hembree. 

“Proud of my girls, keeping the streak alive of going to state every year. Tickled with the boys, they’ve worked so hard. Got so many new kids that didn’t have a clue (about cross country) but came out and have done great.”

Pisgah (66 points) finished as the boys sectional runner-up for a second straight season to Westminster Christian (22). Third-place East Lawrence (74) and fourth-place Clements (130) also qualified for state. 

Tanner Baine led the Eagles’ effort with a seventh-place finish (18:32.55) while Zach Cornelison finished 11th (19:14.89), Tristan Little 15th (19:44.64), Mason Overdear 19th (20:06.76), Bob Johnson 21st (20:12.61), Austin Wilson 22nd (20:19.90), Trey Barrentine 23rd (20:23.57), Jake Smith 29th (21:14.29), Bryant Overdear 31st (21:43.79) and Holden Goff 34th (22:04.47).

Geraldine’s Collin Mayfield won the race with a time of 16:02.25, a full 1:20 in front of runner-up John Farmer of Westminster Christian.

In the girls race, Colbert Heights (61) edged Brindlee Mountain (63) for the sectional crown while Lexington (69) was third and Pisgah (77) fourth.

Rhylee Bell led the Eagles with an ninth-place finish (22:23.03) while Kaylynn Morgan was 12th (23:29.50), Jazmine Wilson 16th (23:58.15), Serenity Olinger 23rd (24:33.78), Kaylea Griffis 24th (24:43.3), Ally Darwin 28th (24:54.37), Lauren Peek 31st (25:14.51), Briley Hembree 37th (26:01.76), Lauren Allbritton 39th (26:07.16) and Korin Brock 42nd (26:46.88).

Hembree was proud of how his runners handled the extreme temperature changes for Friday’s races. 

“We did just a run yesterday afternoon to let my newbies get a taste of the cold and I think it paid off,” he said. “They all came and ran really well.”

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