The Scottsboro varsity cross country teams started their season with a pair of top-three finishes.
The Scottsboro varsity boys team posted a second-place finish in the large-school boys race while the SHS girls finished third in the large-school girls race during the Lawrence County Pepsi Challenge 5K at Alexander Mini Park in Moulton on Saturday.
The SHS boys finished with a team score of 53 points. Class 7A Huntsville had three of the top-four finishers and five of the top-nine to win with a low score of 24 points.
Scottsboro head coach Luke Robinson called it “a great season opener” for his teams.
“Last year, we had five boys run under 18 minutes [at this same race] and none under 17 minutes. This year, we had seven boys under 18 minutes and two under 17 minutes. Our guys were ready to race that's for sure. They kept themselves in good positions throughout the race and really pushed themselves to close the gaps.”
Scottsboro’s Hayden Judge won the large-school boys race with a course-record time of 16:16.77. The sophomore finished more than four seconds faster than Huntsville’s Jackson Danner (16:20.89).
“Very proud of Hayden,” Robinson said. “He put himself in great position early and took off when he needed to. He's been working hard non-stop since last year's cross country season and it’s paying off for him for sure. I think Hayden has a great season ahead of him.”
Scottsboro had four runners total in the Top-15, with Benson Atkins finishing seventh (16:42.67) while Rex Green was 14th (17:24.13) and Bobby Parsons 15th (17:37.47). Also for the Wildcats, Ben Gossett finished 17th (17:41.53) while Hal Leighton was 18th (17:45.87), Will Coleman 19th (17:45.91), Josue Vela Castillo 21st (18:12.83), Zach Avenel 30th (18:44.63), Brady Thomas 34th (18:49.85), Jackson Howes 43rd (19:32.48), Brandon Cloud 50th (19:51.03), Logan Roberts 63rd (20:21.93), Noah Collins 86th (21:39.28), Levi Webb 90th (21:45.97), Jo Carlile 94th (21:55.60), Tyler Allen 103rd (22:26.85), Johnwill Newcom 104th (22:27.88) and Skylar Reichle 106th (22:39.70).
Huntsville also won the large-school girls 5K race (32 points) while Lawrence County was second (62), Scottsboro third (63) and Arab fourth (64).
The Scottsboro girls’ top finisher was McCall Chandler, who placed fourth with a time of 20:26.84. Hannah Cloud followed in sixth place (20:28.17) for the Wildcats while Katie Jones was 16th (22:15.60), Amber Littles 19th (22:56.94), Skylar Farr 22nd (23:17.62), Kaylee Farr 23rd (23:19.85), Wylie Webb 25th (23:41.32), Emily Littles 26th (23:44.06), Ava Duke 34th (24:31.14), Isabelle Flores 40th (25:21.10), Daniele Ola 42nd (25:21.10), Rainy Hicklen 44th (25:49.60), Lauren Herbst 47th (26:33.67), Collins Bradford 50th (27:05.84) and Madison Kubon 69th (31:04.12).
“We are very proud of our girls first race performance,” Robinson said. “We decided not race a few of our girls due to some aches and pains, and some other girls decided to step up. A lot of the girls either set a new PR or ran very close to their PR. For that to happen on the first race is awesome. They had a great summer this year, and it’s showing already. We lost to our biggest 5A competition by one point, which is a big eye opener for us. It shows how important it is to keep the gaps small and always try to catch one more runner. You never know. That one runner in front of you could be the difference maker.”
Small-school girls race — Pisgah finished sixth in the small-school girls 5K race with a team score of 142.
Rhylee Bell led the Eagles with a 29th-place finish (25:40.19) while Lauren Peek finished 31st (25:41.93), Cecilia Garner 38th (26:28.62), Briley Hembree 40th (26:30.31), Emma Ellison 57th (27:58.16), Madison Phillips 59th (28:05.21), Taylor McBride 69th (29:20.77) and Kurstyn Stewart 95th (46:13.00).
Kaylee Saint was Skyline’s lone runner in the varsity girls small-school race, posting a 76th-place finish (30:35.73).
Small-school boys race — Pisgah finished 10th in the small-school boys 5K race with 227 points.
Tanner Baine was Pisgah’s top finisher, placing 34th with a time of 20:40.83. Zach Cornelison finished 40th (21:00.53) while Garrett Ellison was 51st (21:18.28), Trey Barrentine 55th (21:35.80), Dalton Wilson 69th (22:09.84), Hunter Montgomery 133rd (25:39.33), Holden Goff 141st (16:53.83) and Bailey Johnson 149th (28:03.77).
Nathan Olinger paced the Skyline boys effort with a 37th-place finish (20:53.26). Kordell Talley followed with a 48th-place finish (21:12.66) while Hank Utter was 86th (22:47.63) and Tristan Roach 137th (25:57.82).
“I did not fill a varsity boys team this week.,” said Skyline coach Rhonda Saint. “I will have a full varsity roster for our next race now that I know who is able to move up and fill the spots needed. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of improvement from my runners.”
Junior high girls 2-mile race — Scottsboro’s top-five scoring runners placed in the top-eight as the Wildcats won the Pepsi Challenge’s junior high girls 2-mile race (23 points).
Maddie Gossett posted a runner-up finish (13:53.55) for Scottsboro while Lauren Judge was fourth (14:30.51), Makenna Howes fifth (14:36.74), Shelton Linville eighth (14:49.40), Ally Campbell ninth (14:49.72), Sadie Latham 12th (15:00.64), Sadye Webb 21st (15:25.19), Smith Bradford 23rd (15:34.32), Brooklyn McGee 33rd (16:25.81), Haylen Miles 46th (16:51.35), Keira Culver 68th (18:35.25), Maggie Whitaker 75th (18:55.27) and Hannelyn Villatoro 95th (21:04.36).
Pisgah, which finished 11th in the team standings, was led by Katie Guffey’s 48th-place finish (17:08.13) while Kimberly Miller was 59th (18:03.00), Annalisse Barnhill 63rd (18:05.82), Gracie Mckee 84th (19:31.40), Morgan McBride 85th (19:31.62), Addison Goff 89th (20:46.44) and Kinsley Phillips 101st (22:54.12).
For Skyline, Joslyn Boatwright finished 34th (16:30.96) while Rebekah Anderson was 53rd (17:39.44), Kadence Warren 97th (21:09.92) and Lauren Woodall 103rd (23:12.49).
Junior high boys 2-mile race — Scottsboro finished second in the junior high boys 2-mile race (62 points) behind winner Huntsville, which posted a winning low score of 21.
Cameron Estes paced the Wildcats with a fourth-place finish (12:07.76) while Wilson Hill was 10th (12:27.87), Hamilton Richardson 17th (12:52.94), Ridge Wells 18th (12:55.09), Stephen Jones 22nd (13:01.94), Alex Farr 34th (13:28.75), Alex Avenel 42nd (13:41.39), Josh Hill 50th (13:57.14), River Green 55th (14:07.90), Christian Kilgore 73rd (15:03.98), Corbin Gray 105th (16:01.28), Nathan Bearden 109th (16:06.12), Colin Tuno 11th (16:21.42) and Alex Cloud 116th (16:28.80).
Skyline finished 12th in the team standings (304). Bryant Kennamer placed 49th (13:56.85) while Trever Saint was 70th (14:43.59), JT Hastings 82nd (15:18.83), Levi Wilkinson 91st (15:30.71), Sam Utter 133rd (17:19.36) and Daniel Olinger 148th (20:06.34).
For Pisgah, Jake Smith finished 127th (17:04.06) while Blake Giles was 139th (18:46.54) and Brody Giles 150th (20:41.40).