Husky Challenge cross country meet sees large turnout
By John Gallagher
On a cold Saturday morning, a couple thousand people were in attendance for the 21st St. Vincent’s Husky Challenge at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School. The high school cross country meet took place on Oct. 20.
“It’s a party out here today,” one runner’s father said.
The meet hosted four of the top seven varsity boy’s cross country teams and the top three varsity girl’s cross country teams, with 243 boys from 26 schools and 203 girls from 22 schools running in the meet. The varsity races were run over a five-kilometer course. Junior varsity and middle school races were also held.
Mountain Brook High School’s Payton Ballard won the varsity boy’s race in 15:49. Jessica Molloy, also from Mountain Brook, won the varsity girl’s race in 17:47.
The team competition was awarded based on the finishes of the top five runners for a school in a given race. Vestavia Hills won the varsity boy’s team competition and Mountain Brook won the varsity girl’s team competition.
Hewitt-Trussville finished fourth in the varsity boy’s team competition and sixth in the varsity girl’s team competition.
“We had a good race,” Hewitt-Trussville Cross Country Coach David Dobbs said. “We didn’t do as well as we might have liked. We did have a few personal records though.”
The Husky Challenge was first run on this course in 2003, after a brief stint in Civitan Park. Last year, the course was opened to the field behind the Civic Center. A trail was cut under the interstate to complete the current course. With construction set to start on the new football stadium, it is uncertain where the race will be held in the future.
A sectional qualifying meet for the state finals will occur on the course on Thursday, Nov. 1.