Bound for state

Riley Grider (left) and Cecilia Garner helped Pisgah claim a spot in the state meet during the Class 3A Section 4 meet.


The Pisgah cross country teams are headed for state.

The PHS girls and both teams stamped their tickets by finishing second in the Class 3A Section 4 girls and boys races Friday evening at Scottsboro High School’s John R. Esslinger Trail of Champions.

“Wow just wow,” said Pisgah head coach Gus Hembree. “I can not express how proud I am of my teams for being runner-up and qualifying for the state meet. After the Pepsi Challenge, I wasn’t sure if any of my kids would qualify as individuals much less as a team. This group has worked harder than any group I have coached to get to where we are.”

The AHSAA Cross Country State Championships are Saturday at the Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum near Moulton. The Class 3A Boys race is set for 8:50 a.m. and the 3A girls race is at 9:50 a.m.

Pisgah closed with 72 points in the Class 3A girls race, 20 points back of sectional champion Brindlee Mountain, which had a winning low score of 52. Colbert Heights (73) and Westminster Christian (83) also earned state meet berths.

Rhylee Bell finished 12th (23:03.47) for the Eagles while Kaylynn Morgan was 13th (23:06.09), Lauren Peek 15th (23:15.93), Cecilia Garner 17th (23:17.17), Riley Grider 20th (23:30.59), Briley Hembree 23rd (23:36.43), Ally Darwin 31st (24:15.98), Madison Phillips 33rd (24:36.51), Katie Guffey 39th (24:53.40) and Emma Ellison 47th (25:53.29).

Pisgah finished with 59 points in the 3A boys race, 28 points back of sectional champion Westminster Christian (31). Brindlee Mountain (64) and East Lawrence (99) also qualified for state.

Garrett Ellison (17:54.13) and Zach Cornelison (18:24.78) led the PHS, finishing sixth and eighth respectively. Tanner Baine finished 14th (19:08.26) while Trey Barrentine was 21st (20:20.27), Dalton Wilson 22nd (20:28.06), Holden Goff 34th (22:36.56), Jake Smith 35th (23:00.01), Bryant Overdear 36th (23:00.41), Mason Overdear 38th (23:07.68) and Bailey Johnson 47th (25:54.25). 

“My seniors have guided this team from the Monday after Pepsi Challenge because they were disappointed in our performance. They have pushed each other to get better each week. The payoff for their hard work was shown at sectionals,” Hembree said. “Going to state is a big deal. We have been fortunate to qualify for state every year we have had a team at Pisgah. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach these kids.”

Class 1A-2A Section 4 Boys Meet — At Oxford, the Skyline boys cross country team qualified for the Class 1A-2A state meet with a fourth-place finish at Friday’s sectional meet at Choccolocco Park.

The Vikings (127 points) edged Cedar Bluff (128) by one points for the sectional’s fourth and final state qualifying berth. Ohatchee (32), Westbrook Christian (35) and Asbury (63) were the sectional’s top-three finishers.

The Class 1A-2A boys race at the AHSAA State Cross Country Championships Saturday starts at 10:50 a.m.

Kordell Talley led Skyline with a 16th-place finish (19:58.91) while Nathan Olinger was 19th (20:10.07), Bryant Kennamer 32nd (22:15.63), JT Hastings 39th (22:52.47), Tristan Roach 40th (23:01.89), Trever Saint 42nd (23:20.88), Levi Wilkinson 52nd (24:11.90) and Daniel Olinger 68th (30:43.67).

“I was very pleased with our run at sectionals,” said Skyline coach Rhonda Saint. “My boys knew going in that they had to run their best race in order to qualify for the state meet. They really stepped up and came through. This is only the second time that a boys team has qualified from Skyline. I am very proud of my boys and all their hard work this season.” 

Meanwhile, North Sand Mountain’s Josue Luna qualified as an individual for the state meet with a 15th-place finish (19:51.67).

Class 1A-2A Section 4 Girls Meet — At Oxford, the Section girls cross country team is bound for the state meet after placing a third at Friday’s sectional meet at Choccolocco Park.

Ohatchee (25 points), Cedar Bluff (78), Section and first-year program Ider (107) were the sectional’s four state qualifiers.

Section’s Jennifer Vega was the sectional runner-up, placing second with a time of 23:15.73 while Cindel Myers finished fourth (23:39.29), Madison Armstrong 21st (26:31.83), Morgan Armstrong 45th (30:18.68) and Makayla Rowell 56th (32:15.49).

“We have had a lot of cold mornings running before school,  but it has paid off,” said Section coach Stormy Stevens. “All credit goes to the girls.  I think some of them mastered running while still asleep.” 

The Class 1A-2A girls race during the AHSAA State Championships on Saturday is set for 11:50 a.m.

Meanwhile, Skyline (171) finished seventh but did have a runner qualify as an individual. Skyline’s Joslyn Boatwright was the second individual qualifiers after finishing 13th (25:30.19).

“She has made tremendous improvement this year,” said Skyline coach Rhonda Saint. “I knew she was in a good spot to qualify. She just needed a good run at sectionals. She stepped up as well and made it.”

Also for Skyline, Kaylee Saint finished 46th (30:39.74) while Rebekah Anderson was 47th (30:41.26), Kandace Warren 50th (30:58.94) and Lauren Woodall 59th (34:12.72).

Class 1A-2A Section 3 Boys Meet — At Madison, Woodville missed qualifying for the state meet during Friday’s sectional at Palmer Park.

The Panthers (191 points) finished eighth. Hatton, Athens Bible, Mars Hill Bible and Whitesburg Christian were the sectional’s state qualifiers.

Jacob Lack finished 24th (20:26.97) for Woodville while Jacob Chambers was 33rd (20:52.36), Hunter Sisk 36th (20:58.06), Isreal Prado 52nd (22:50.72), Logan Boggs 68th (25:47.87) and Russell Roswal 71st (27:46.66)

Class 4A Section 4 Meets — At Madison, North Jackson runners fell short of qualifying for state during the sectional races at Palmer Park.

North Jackson’s boys finished 12th overall. Abraham Castro finished 34th (19:34.48) for the Chiefs while Adolpho Mendez was 57th (20:38.02), Daniel Feigel 78th (21:32.39), Edgar Sanchez 90th (22:54.84), Garrett Blevins 91st (24:18.33), Jonathan York 92nd (24:40.28), Will Rick 104th (27:26.93) and Ryan Terry 105th (27:46.81).

In the girls race, North Jackson’s Delana Pierce finished 31st (24:09.06) while Emily Gilley was 33rd (24:18.37) and Lily Smith 68th (30:05.54).


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