The Scottsboro cross country teams trek to the AHSAA Cross Country Championships looking to add to the program’s trophy case.
Scottsboro swept the Class 5A state titles a year ago, and the SHS boys are going for a championship three-peat.
After dominant sectional performances, head coach Luke Robinson said the Wildcats head to the state meet with plenty of confidence.
“They’ve done all the work they’ve needed to do to be ready for this,” Robinson said. “They hay is in the barn like they saw. We’ve just got to go execute.”
The AHSAA Cross Country Championships are Saturday at the Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum. The Class 5A girls race is set for 10:30 a.m. while the 5A boys race is at 11:30 p.m.
Running for the Scottsboro girls are Emma Bradford, Smith Bradford, Ally Campbell, McCall Chandler, Skylar Farr, Maddie Gossett, Lauren Judge, Sadie Latham, Amber Littles and Emma Warren. Running for the SHS boys are Benson Atkins, Cooper Atkins, Zach Avenel, Will Coleman, Ben Gossett, Rex Green, Hayden Judge, Hal Leighton, Bobby Parsons and Josue Vela Castillo.
Scottsboro is a heavy favorite in the 5A boys race, and Robinson has advised the Wildcats to block out that talk and just run to their potential.
Meanwhile, the SHS girls are the favorite in a 5A girls race that also includes state contenders Arab and Lawrence County, teams Scottsboro defeated at sectionals last week.
“The girls, they know they’ve done it before,” Robinson said of defeating their fellow state contenders. “They just have to go out and perform.”
Pisgah’s girls and boys head to the state meet after sectional runner-up finishes. The PHS boys race at 8:50 a.m. while the PHS girls race at 9:50 a.m.
Running for the Pisgah girls are Rhylee Bell, Ally Darwin, Emma Ellison, Cecilia Garner, Riley Grider, Katie Guffey, Briley Hembree, Kaylynn Morgan, Lauren Peek and Madison Phillips. Running for the PHS boys are Tanner Baine, Trey Barrentine, Zach Cornelison, Garrett Ellison, Holden Goff, Bailey Johnson, Bryant Overdear, Mason Overdear, Jake Smith and Dalton Wilson.
Pisgah head coach Gus Hembree said his teams must contend with St. James, St. Bernard, Westminster Christian, T.R. Miller and Pleasant Valley in the race for the top spot.
“They all have been the dominant team in both boys and girls this season,” Hembree said. “We have to come out and be aggressive early and not get caught up in packs to slow our pace. Mostly we have to run our race and try to hit our goal time at state.”
The Skyline boys cross country will run at state for the second time in program history, and head coach Rhonda Saint believes the state appearance is a building block for a team that includes three juniors, an eighth-grader and four seventh-graders.
“I think it speaks volumes about their hard work and commitment to the sport for such a young team to be able to step up in a varsity race and qualify for state,” Saint said. “I knew they were capable of making it. I'm so proud of them for running their best race at sectionals and getting us that spot at the state meet.”
The Skyline boys (J.T. Hastings, Bryant Kennamer, Daniel Olinger, Nathan Olinger, Tristan Roach, Trever Saint, Kordell Talley and Levi Wilkinson), along with NSM individual runner Josue Luna, run in the Class 1A-2A boys race Saturday at 10:50 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Section girls (Madison Armstrong, Morgan Armstrong, Shelby Harris, Cindel Myers, Makayla Rowell, Haley Smart and Jennifer Vega), along with Skyline individual runner Joslyn Boatwright will run in the Class 1A-2A state race at 11:50 a.m.