Heat takes toll on runners at Chickasaw Trails Invitational
OAKVILLE – Brutal humidity and more than 2,500 runners was an eye-opener for the Hartselle cross country team Saturday at the Chickasaw Trails Invitational at the Oakville Indian Mounds.
Competing in just their second meet since reviving the program this season, Hartselle’s girls finished 19th overall and the boys were 22nd.
Priceville’s boys and girls teams both finished 22nd in their division.
More than 2,500 runners competed in the six divisions with teams coming from several states.
“I don’t know if our kids knew what to expect,” said Hartselle head coach Kenny Lopez. “I tried to paint a picture of what they should expect, but until you get out there and run in races with 400 kids or more, you just don’t have an understanding of what it’s like.
“I think we learned from it and we’ll be more prepared when we run there again in October in the Jesse Owens race. We just have to chalk this one up to experience.”
Hartselle’s varsity girls finished 19th overall in the Class 5A-6A team standings, right behind sectional foe Lawrence County.
Sophomore Savannah Morgan was Hartselle’s top finisher. Her time of 24:46.01 earned a 101st place finish.
Lady Tigers’ senior Joy Harris was 156th at 26:33.65, while junior Haley Baker was 201st at 28:15.83.
Also scoring for Hartselle’s girls were Lindsey Elmore (29:16.83), Sarah Walker (31:22.76) and Peyton Roberts (32:56.58).
Hartselle’s Brooke Wilson, a sophomore, finished at 37:36.37.
Brewer’s Clay Oden, a junior, finished 17th overall in the 5A-6A race.
The only Patriot runner entered in the boys’ large school race, Oden ran a 17:43.11.
Hartselle finished 27th in the team standings despite competing with the minimum five runners to score as a team.
Eighth grader Jonathan Duncan was the top finisher for the Tigers after he ran a 20:42.86 in his first run at the Oakville Indian Mounds.
He was 155th overall and was the third-highest placing eighth grader.
Junior Cameron Cunningham (21:31.30) and freshman Tristen Mitchell (22:06.79) finished 202nd and 242nd for the Tigers respectively.
Rounding out the finishers for Hartselle’s boys’ team was Alex Wilt (25:28.14) and Chad Wallwork (26:43.63).
The Tigers were without Noah Battles, who missed the race to take the ACT entrance exam.
There were 440 finishers in the boys’ 5A-6A race.
“With a missing link, that really played out as far as strategy,” Lopez said. “Our guys still have some work to do. We’ve definitely got to improve in some areas.”
Falkville’s Sarah Ayre was the top local finisher in the Class 1A-4A girls’ race with a time of 29:37.78 to finish 143rd.
The Lady Blue Devils’ Heather Smith ran a 31:14.71.
Priceville’s girls finished 22nd in the Class 1A-4A team standings behind solid efforts from Alisha Burchell (148th, 29:56.70) and Paige Terry (163rd, 30:38.52).
Senior Toni Gautney ran a 32:00.94 for the Lady Bulldogs to finish 175th overall. Catherine Barber (34:36.33) and Madison Widner (39:03.18) rounded out the Priceville group.
The were 221 finishers in the girls’ 1A-4A race.
Tim Rayman was 59th overall in the Class 1A-4A boys’ varsity race. The junior ran a 21:02.18 to finish as Priceville’s top runner.
The Bulldogs finished 22nd overall.
Tyler Johnson (22:36.84), Justin Dozier (24:13.90), Nathan George (24:51.16) and Spencer Johnson (26:24.99) rounded out Priceville’s group.
Falkville had three runners compete in the boys’ 1A-4A race with Michael Hopper taking 67th overall with a time of 21:19.80.
Heath Blanchard (22:02.12) was 99th, and Evan Cottingham (26:29.08) was 216th.
The 1A-4A boys’ varsity race had 285 finishers.