Pelham makes strong showing at Shelby County Championships

Published 2:14 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pelham runner Andrew Givan won the boys Shelby Cross Country Championship on Oct. 9 with a time of 17:42.81. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

ALABASTER – Freshman Mary Grace Strozier led Pelham to their first girls’ county championship in over a decade on Oct. 9 at the Shelby County Cross Country Championships held at Alabaster’s Veteran’s Park.

Strozier broke the 20-minute mark to win the girlls’ varsity race with a time of 19:57.27. Lesya Lackey broke the top-10 with a ninth place finish with a time of 21:52.73. Erin Landa (11), Claire Vaughn (14) and Maggie Lucas each finished in the top-20 to help the Panthers top second place Briarwood Christian by nine points, 51-60.

“We are a small team and I am proud of what they have done,” said Pelham coach Marty Springfield. “I think this is the first time Pelham has won county in over 10 years – so that’s a good accomplishment.”

Emily Stevens led Briarwood with a second place finish with Chelsea’s Cheyenne Thompson rounding out the top-3 runners.

Oak Mountain's Emily Stevens makes a strong finish for second-place at the Shelby County Cross Country Championships at Veteran's Park in Alabaster (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

The strong showing for Pelham wasn’t over after the girls’ race. Andrew Givan led through most of the boys’ varsity race to claim the individual championship with a time of 17:21.65.

Thompson’s Michael Johnson took second in the race with a time of 17:35.78 while Jake Van Geffen led Oak Mountain to the team championship with a third place finish.

Van Geffen’s time of 17:42.81 led a pack of Oak Mountain runners that took five of the top-10 spots to finish with 28 points as a team. Pelham finished second in the team standings with 66 points.

“When our guys can all get on the same page and race hard as a team like they did at this race they can accomplish a lot more,” said Oak Mountain head coach Kyle Dudley. “Individual victories are nice, but team victories are so much more meaningful.

“It’s huge for our whole team, not just our top group of guys, to see what happens when you push each other, encourage each other, and play your part in a race.”

Shelby County Cross County Championships results
Girls Varsity
1, Mary Grace Strozier, Pelham, 19:57.27
2, Emily Stevens, Oak Mountain, 20:19.82
3, Cheyenne Thompson, Chelsea, 20:25.84
4, Mallory Mathias, Briarwood, 20:42.18
5, Lizzie Baumbach, Briarwood, 21:23.94
6, Erika Kulp, Thompson, 21:28.40
7, Victoria Saenz, Indian Springs, 21:28.73
8, Becky Thielman, Briarwood, 21:38.96
9, Lesya Lackey, Pelham, 21:52.73
10, Anna Puckett, Thompson, 21:56.52

Team standings
1, Pelham, 51. 2, Briarwood Christian, 60. 3, Thompson, 80. 4, Oak Mountain, 88. 5, Chelsea, 97. 6, Indian Springs, 116. 7, Calera, 219.

Boys Varsity
1, Andrew Givan, Pelham, 17:21.65
2, Michael Johnson, Thompson, 17:35.78
3, Jake Van Geffen, Oak Mountain, 17:42.81
4, Matt Pouncey, Oak Mountain, 17:58.06
5, Alex Coleman, Thompson, 17:59.73
6, Darius Robinson, Oak Mountain, 18:11.10
7, Randy Reeder, Oak Mountain, 18:13.35
8, Caleb Mintz, Oak Mountain, 18:13.35
9, Tyler Treadwell, Pelham, 18:27.07
10, Sam Whorton, Briarwood, 18:32.25

Team standings
1, Oak Mountain, 28. 2, Pelham, 66. 3, Thompson, 91. 4, Briarwood Christian, 95. 5, Chelsea, 135. 6, Indian Springs, 159. 7, Westminster School at Oak Mountain, 162. 8, Calera, 221.