Bradford

Emma Bradford and Scottsboro run in the Class 5A Section 4 Meet Friday.

The Scottsboro cross country teams have reached their favorite time of the season — the postseason.

The three-time defending Class 5A boys and two-time defending Class 5A girls state champions begin the march toward repeats when they host the Class 5A Section 4 Meet on Friday at the John. R. Esslinger Trail of Champions at SHS.

The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday but was moved to Friday because of the threat of inclement weather.

The top-four teams and the top-six runners not on the roster of a qualifying team advance to run in the 2019 AHSAA Cross Country Championships at Oakville Indian Mounds Park near Moulton on Nov. 9.

The 5A Section 4 girls race is set for 9 a.m. and the boys race is at 10.

Scottsboro will compete in the sectional against Arab, Ardmore, Brewer, East Limestone, Guntersville, Lawrence County, Madison County, Randolph, Russellville and West Point. Scottsboro and Lawrence County are the top-two ranked girls teams in Class 5A.

Robinson said both Scottsboro teams are postseason ready.

“I feel like we’re heading in the direction that we want to be in right before state,” said Scottsboro head coach Luke Robinson. “The hay is in the barn. We’ve just got to stay healthy, keep encouraging each other and do all the little things right on and off the course.”

Class 4A

North Jackson will attempt to earn its first state cross country meet berths during Friday’s Class 4A Section 4 Meet at Palmer Park in Madison.

The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday but was moved to Friday because of the threat of inclement weather.

The Chiefs will compete against Brooks, Central-Florence, Deshler, Elkmont, Madison Academy, Priceville, Rogers, St. John Paul II, West Limestone, West Morgan and Wilson.

“We are in a very competitive section,” said North Jackson head coach Johnny Holman. “So, for my kids to qualify for the state (meet), they are going to have to put in maximum effort.  I have a few who potentially could qualify as individuals if my teams do not qualify.”

The girls 5K race is set for 11:40 a.m. and the boys race is at 12:40 a.m.

North Jackson runners ran that course just a week ago at the James Clemens Invitational.

 “My kids didn't set (personal records), but they got really close,” Holman said. “The course is a fast course. My kids will be prepared for the layout and they will know when to kick it into high gear.” 

Class 3A

Pisgah will run on its “second course,” the John R. Esslinger Trail of Champions at Scottsboro High School, in the Class 3A Section 4 meet on Friday as both Pisgah teams try to reserve another trip to state.

“It is a huge advantage for us,” said Pisgah head coach Gus Hembree said of running at Scottsboro. “We feel comfortable at Scottsboro. My kids do workouts there on their off days.”

Pisgah will compete against Brindlee Mountain, Clements, Colbert Heights, East Lawrence, Geraldine, Lauderdale County, Lexington, New Hope and Westminster Christian. The girls race is at 8:30 a.m. and the boys race is at 9:30 a.m.

The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday but was moved to Friday because of the threat of inclement weather.

Hembree said the Eagles must run strong races in order to advance.

“We have to get healthy first of all. We are battling some nagging injuries. My seniors must be seniors and lead this team,” Hembree said. “I have more new runners this season than ever before. My seniors have done a good job bringing the newbies along, but sectionals is a different deal. We have to be at our best to advance to the state meet.”

Class 1A-2A

Runners from Jackson County schools will compete in two different Class 1A-2A sectionals.

Woodville’s Russell Roswal will compete in the boys 5K race (12:40 p.m.) at the Class 1A-2A Section 3 Meet at Palmer Park in Madison on Friday. The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday but was moved to Friday because of the threat of inclement weather. 

Meanwhile, North Sand Mountain, Section and Skyline will run in the Class 1A-2A Section 4 Meet at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on Friday. They compete against Asbury, Cedar Bluff, Donoho, Faith Christian, Gaston, Ider, Jacksonville Christian,  Ohatchee, Sacred Heart, Sand Rock, Vincent, West End and Westbrook Christian.

It’s the second straight year the teams have run their sectionals at Choccolocco Park. The girls race is at 9 a.m. and the boys race is at 10 a.m.

“We ran the course at Oxford a couple of times last year. It's a flat and fast course. Some of my runners love it, others hate it,” said Skyline head coach Rhonda Saint. “But on race day, it's the course required to win, so they all have to show up and run it with the goal of a (personal record). In order for us to get the results we want, which ultimately is a qualifying spot for the state meet the following weekend, we have to show up prepared, healthy and eager  and willing to do whatever it takes to finish in one of the top-four spots. I know my boys team is capable. They have shown that at some recent meets. We are excited and looking forward to this run.”

Section will field a complete girls team, and the goal is for the Lions to return to state as team this season.

“It will take each team member pushing themselves and hopefully getting a PR at sectionals,” said Section head coach Stormy Stevens.

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