Local runners shine at Chickasaw Trails Invitational
Published 9:59 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
OAKVILLE – The 15th Annual Chickasaw Trails Invitational at Indian Mounds Park in Oakville saw a total of 68 boys teams and 58 girls teams compete on Sept. 12. The meet was divided into a small school race and a large school race for both the boys and girls, and a number of Shelby County teams, including Oak Mountain, Spain Park, Thompson, Helena, Shelby County and the Westminster School at Oak Mountain took part in the event.
The star of the day in the county was Cole Stidfole of Oak Mountain. Stidfole asserted himself as one of the premier runners in the state a season ago as a sophomore in both the cross-country and track seasons and has picked up right where he left off in his junior campaign. He finished the large school race with an incendiary time of 15:49.81, second overall only to a runner from out of state by less than three seconds, and better by almost four seconds over Hoover’s Tommy McDonough, who finished third. Stidfole and McDonough will likely be at the top of the 7A leaderboard all year, and Stidfole has set the early season pace with this blistering time, which is currently the fastest 5K time in the state in 2015.
Oak Mountain was the top finisher for the boys overall, with a fourth-place finish in the large school race out of 36 teams. Stidfole and Caleb Van Geffen, who finished 13th overall with a time of 16:26.36, led the Eagles.
Cole Dillard, a sophomore, was the top finisher for Spain Park with a time of 17:27.35 to lead the Jaguars, who finished 14th in the large school meet. Thompson finished one place behind Spain Park at 15th and was led by freshman Brandon Lee who came across in 17:31.42. Helena was led by Blake Vaughn who ran a 17:43.48 as the Huskies finished 17th out of 36, and Shelby County was led by Jesse Jones, who came across at 18:55.88 as the Wildcats finished 33rd overall.
Westminster School at Oak Mountain was the lone Shelby County participant in the small school meet and finished 10th out of 32 teams. Sophomore Pierce Moffett, who finished with a time of 18:01.88, led the Knights.
The Lady Knights had the best finish of any Shelby County team on the day with a second place finish in the girls’ small school meet, which had 26 teams competing. Westminster and the first place finisher, St. Bernard, actually both finished with 90 points through both schools’ first five runners, but St. Bernard’s next three finishers were better than the Lady Knights’ next three, so Westminster finished second. Maddie Hoaglund and Sarah Kate Lipperd led the way for Westminster with 11th and 12th place finishes respectively, with times of 20:36.40 and 20:41.43.
Spain Park finished fourth in the girls’ large school meet out of 32 teams and was led by Sarah Sims McGrath who finished eighth overall with a time of 19:12.34. Oak Mountain, which finished 14th, was led by freshman Nicole Payne with a time of 19:27.47. Thompson finished 18th and was led by senior Gracie Keller who crossed the finish line with a time of 22:28.82, and Helena was led by junior Aszah Preuc who finished with a time of 22:40.31 as the Lady Huskies finished 19th.