By David Knox, Sports Editor
The Hewitt-Trussville cross country team raced away with an easy championship in the St. Clair County Invitational last Saturday.
The Husky boys took spots 1 through 5, had seven of the top eight scorers and 10 of the first 11 finishers.
Senior John Ngaruiya finished first, posting a 16:48.40 time in the 5,000 meter (5K) race, leading the Huskies to team total of 15 points, far ahead of second-place Moody, which scored 48 points. Springville was third with 110 points. Shades Valley (119), host St. Clair County (121) and Lincoln (136) rounded out the field.
Following Ngaruiya were teammates Austin Atkinson (17:01.91), Josh Jenkins (17:25.22), Thomas Wolfe (17:31.07) and Carson Spruiell (17:33.90). Moody freshman Justin Dowdell was sixth, then Huskies Aaron Dykes (18:27.18) and Graham Bianchi (18:33.34) rounded out the Hewitt scorers. Nathan Knox and Micah Smith were also in the top 10 for Hewitt-Trussville.
The girls were the class of the Class 4A-7A race as well. Amelia Brady won the race with a time of 20:18.06. Lady Huskies took 13 of the top 16 spots to dominate the girls field. Finishes and scores for those girls: Sydney Hall (second, 21:14.53), Brooke Atkinson (third, 22:09.95), Maci Mills (fifth, 22:51.26), Ellie Kate Jones (eighth, 23:17.94), Hannah O’Kelley (ninth, 23:20.75), Helena Steen (10th, 23:25.11). Also finishing in the top 25 were Hewitt’s Hannah Brien, Olivia Bland, Sarah Peterson, Chandler Holley, Olivia Braswell, Ariana White, Ashleigh Hicks, Aliyah Brown, Emily Bonham and Olivia Calma.
The boys JV team was second in its 2.1 mile race, led by Kent Glover. The freshman posted a time of 11:55.35 to top teammate Ayrton Purdy (12:05.64). Strickland White (12:45.59) was fourth, Andy Poole (13:08.78) was 10th and Nathan Pitts (13:20.40) was 15th to round out the Huskies’ JV scorers.
The Huskies JV boys racked up 34 points to White Plains’ 28.
The girls JV team came in second in its 2.1 mile race. White Plains scored 32 points and the JV Lady Huskies scored 38.
Leading the way for the HT girls was Sarah Cannon, who ran a 15:03.23 to finish second. Olivia Kilpatrick (fifth), Maegan Mason (eighth), Kaitlyn Crowe (18th) and Caitlin Daniel (20th) rounded out the Lady Huskies scorers in the JV race.
Rudd, HTMS fare well at Spain Park:
Pinson Valley sent three boys to the Spain Park cross country meet last Saturday. Seth Lord was 75th with a time of 20:12.23. George Vazquez and Ari Del Orbe Torres also competed.
Two Pinson Valley girls raced in the Spain Park meet. Tatiana Padgett posted a 24:13.84 time for 45th and Reina Luviano also competed.
In the junior high/middle school 3,200 meter boys race, Rudd Middle eighth-grader Nicklaus Martinez finished fourth with a 12:04.71 time, a personal best for him. Rudd finished fifth overall, trailing Oak Mountain Middle (34), Homewood Middle (59), Chelsea Middle (108) and Berry Middle (121).
Rudd (126) was followed by Hewitt-Trussville Middle (158) in sixth. Clay-Chalkville Middle (269) was 10th out of the 12 teams that competed.
Other top finishers for Rudd were Caleb Phillips (14th), Miguel Hernandez (36th), Luis Sanchez (61st), Hagen Gingras (62nd), Hunter Siddle (64th) and Michael Witherspoon (100th).
Top finishers for HTMS were Noah Renda (28th), Peyton Sanders (40th), Eli Williamson (52nd), Zac Butterworth (75th), Garth Bice (77th) and Mitchell Phillips (91st)
Top runners for CCMS were Dominick Byrd (56th), Jonathan Limon (69th), Saul Aguirre (87th), Connor Massey (146th) and Matthew Johnson (184th).
In the girls race, Rudd’s Charlotte Phillips, a seventh-grader, finished fifth with a personal-best time of 14:13.98. Teammate Getsemani Mata-Gil was 25th and Karriuna Kelley was 107th. RMS did not enter enough runners to score as a team.
Hewitt-Trussville Middle finished fourth overall, trailing Homewood, Berry and Oak Mountain,
Leading the way were Sadie Morgan, who finished in 30th with a personal-best time of 15:50.42. Samantha Vise (39th), Zoe Waldrop (42nd), Laura Claire Bollinger (50th), Maggie Beth Plyman (51st), Korea Blackburn (54th) and Bailey Richards (61st) all scored for HTMS.
Homewood (28) won the event. Berry (35), Oak Mountain (68), HTMS (133), Westminster School at Oak Mountain (134) and Chelsea (166) rounded out the team scoring. CCMS did not have any girls compete.
Teams to compete at Mortimer Jordan, Oak Mountain:
Clay-Chalkville, Hewitt-Trussville and Center Point are among the cross country teams scheduled to compete in the Mortimer Jordan Invitational No. 2 on Thursday. At Heardmont Park on Saturday, HTHS and HTMS, Clay Middle and Rudd are set to compete in the Oak Mountain XC Invitational.