MOULTON — Despite rainy, muddy conditions, more than 5,000 runners from across Alabama and four other states competed in the annual Jesse Owens Classic on Saturday at the Oakville Indian Mounds.
Hatton’s boys broke through for the team title in the Green Division, while other coaches were pleased with the effort shown by their teams in difficult conditions.
The Rogers girls finished fifth in the Bronze Division. Shelby Clemmons finished 12th for the Pirates in 22:23. Lori Holmberg was 19th in 21:59.
“It was a much-improved day from what we have seen,” Rogers coach Eddie Matthews said. “We set some goals going into the day and the weather played a huge role. They were able to push through it and achieve those goals which made it that much better. Lori Holmberg is a new face for us and she stepped up today.”
With most of the top teams in the state competing, the race serves as a preview of sorts for the state championships and gives coaches an idea of where their teams are heading into the final month of competition.
Hatton’s boys won the Green Division with Kamron Potter finishing fourth in 19:09.19 and Reid Harrison eighth in 18:37.16. Daniel Dudley (11th), Jake Bradford (16th) and Ben Peterson (19th) rounded out the top five for Hatton.
Hatton coach Brandon Barringer was pleased as his boys and girls teams improved on their times.
“I really wanted to see how our four seniors (guys) would do,” Barringer said. “I was very pleased with the effort. The weather did play a role a little bit with it being slick in spots around the course but both girls and guys did very well. For the girls it was the first time that we have been competitive. It was great to see them cut off on their times.”
Lexington’s boys were fifth, paced by Caleb Gulley’s fifth-place finish in 18:14.20. Maddy Cross was 20th.
Hatton’s girls, led by Bailey Steadman’s fifth-place finish, finished third in the Green Division.
Amy McKelvey finished third in 20:52 to help Shoals Christian to a sixth-place finish. Lexington’s Calli Sewell was fourth, Vina’s Morgan Humphres (16th) and Anna Brown (19th) logged top-20 finishes.
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