The Scottsboro cross country teams will reign over Class 5A for another year.
The Scottsboro girls and boys teams swept the Class 5A state championships — again — during Saturday’s AHSAA Cross Country Championships at Oakville Indian Mound Parks and Museum near Moulton.
It’s the second straight season that both SHS teams won state titles and the 12th such occurrence in school history.
“We did what we came to do,” Robinson said. “It’s a great group of kids. I’m proud of them.”
The state title was the 22nd all-time for the Scottsboro girls program, moving it one shy of Mountain’s Brook’s state record of 23. It was also Scottsboro’s 15th Class 5A girls state championship in the past 18 seasons.
Meanwhile, the SHS boys won the program’s 14th all-time state title, one back of Hoover’s state record of 15.
It was Scottsboro’s third consecutive Class 5A boys championship, and the Wildcats left no doubt during its three-peat. Scottsboro posted a winning low score of 39, easily out-distancing runner-up Randolph by 91 points.
“Definitely a good feeling,” said Scottsboro senior Will Coleman. “We knew we were [favored]. We just wanted to shut everything out and leave no doubt. We did that.”
Sophomore’s Cooper Atkins (third, 16:07.49) and Hayden Judge (fourth, 16:12.16) led a Wildcat contingent that had four all-state runners (Top-15 finishers) in all and had six runners place in the Top 20. Also for the Wildcats, sophomore Benson Atkins finished seventh (16:26.93) while freshman Rex Green was 12th (16:52.02), Coleman 17th (17:11.05), junior Ben Gossett 19th 17:16.65), senior Bobby Parsons 22nd (17:23.03), junior Hal Leighton 26th (17:30.28), freshman Zach Avenel 29th (17:35.31) and sophomore Josue Vela Castillo 36th (17:50.16).
“They dominated,” Robinson said. “The guys, they talked about wishing they’d been faster. But the goal was to come here and bring home the blue trophy, and we did.”
“It was just run as hard as we can for as far as you can,” Parsons said. “This a great feeling. It was a great day for our team.”
The Scottsboro girls, who had a winning low score of 68, won their second straight 5A crown. The Wildcats bested runner-up Briarwood by 19 points and third-place finisher Lawrence County by 22 points.
Freshman McCall Chandler led the Scottsboro effort with a fourth-place run (19:46.56), while seventh-grader Ally Campbell (11th, 20:2484) and eighth-grader Emma Bradford (14th, 20:28.29) joined her in the Top-15 to earn all-state honors. Seventh-grader Smith Bradford finished 19th (20:49.65) for Scottsboro while freshman Maddie Gossett was 21st (20:51.90), Sadie Latham 37th (21:46.44), seventh-grader Lauren Judge 50th (22:02.87), sophomore Skylar Farr 55th (22:14.08), senior Amber Littles 72nd (22:43.84) and senior Emma Warren 86th (23:12.14).
“Our theme for this year was “Vision.” We lived the vision,” Warren said. “Everyone did their part for us to come out on top. I’ve been doing cross country for six years and this was by far the best. All the girls just came together and worked hard. It’s a good way to end it.”
Chandler said the Wildcats were prepared for a sloppy course following Friday’s practice run, but a dryer than expected trail only boosted their confidence on Saturday.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be this dry. It turned out to be a really good course for state,” Chandler said. “It’s really amazing. We get to go celebrate. At the beginning at the season, we weren’t doing too well, but we’re here today. We’re getting our [state championship] streak back.”
Robinson lauded the performance of the girls team, which featured a lineup with two seniors, a sophomore, two freshmen, two eight-graders and three seventh-graders.
“Epic day for the girls,” Robinson said. “They stayed in there and battled. We had some young ones that just gutted it. They had goals of beating some girls from Lawrence County and Arab and they did it. I was very proud of them. [Showed] a lot of grit.”
Before both Scottsboro teams could fully begin their celebrations, they were already looking ahead at the pursuit of the AHSAA Triple Crown, which requires winning cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field state championships during the same school year.
“As soon as we found out that both the girls and boys had won, they told me we’ve got four more [state championships] to go,” Robinson said. “On to the next one.”