Who’s in? Clearing up the XC State Championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Reporter

This Saturday, Nov. 12, marks the end of another fall cross country season as the AHSAA State Championships will take place at Oakville Indian Mounds in Oakville.

A lot of confusion can occur on which teams made it to the state meet and who will represent each of those teams, so we will do a class by class breakdown of each team competing in Saturday’s championship.

Class 7A

The entire Spain Park girls’ team will be in attendance searching for a 7A state title after finishing in third place of the difficult 7A Section 3 meet on Nov. 3. The Jags will also have three guys in attendance hunting for an individual state championship. Morgan Beccker, Charlie Trower and Jacob Warner all finished high enough in qualifying to advance.

Oak Mountain will be represented solely by its’ guys team after they narrowly edged out Vestavia Hills by nine points in the 7A Section 3 qualifier. The Lady Eagles failed to get anyone in the top six of the non-automatic qualifiers and therefore will not be represented in the state meet.

The Thompson Warriors will have one runner advance to the championship, but he might be one of the best individual runners in the state. Sophomore Brandon DeMarcus Lee will look to bring home an individual state title for the Warriors. In 5K’s this year, Lee has finished first three times and has only finished outside of the top 10 once in nine races.

Class 6A

Both the Pelham boys and girls will be in the state championship field after impressive showings in the 6A Section 4 qualifier. The girls almost knocked off Helena as they missed out on first place by one point. The guys tied for second with Walker in their meet, which advanced them to the state finals.

Helena will also be sending both its’ boys and girls as well after they finished in first place in the 6A Section 4 qualifier. The girls had a tough battle with Pelham, but took home first by one point, while the boys crushed their competition winning with a perfect score of 15.

Chelsea will also have representation in the state meet after its’ girls team qualified finishing third in Section 3, 38 points higher than fourth place Shades Valley. The Hornets will have two guys make the trip looking for individual awards. Sophomore T.J. Gennari and junior Connor Thomas both advanced past sectionals.

Class 5A

The Briarwood Lions will be sending both its’ boys and girls teams after strong performances in the Class 5A Section 3 meet. The girls had a perfect score of 15 finishing first, while the guys scored 28 points, which was good enough for first place by 14 points. Zack Howard is a guy to watch on the individual level having finished in the top five four times, including one first place finish.

Calera didn’t qualify either of its teams, but did qualify three individual runners. On the girls’ side, sophomore Skyler Diaz will try to bring home a title after her season high finish of 12th in sectionals. Freshman Harrison Jackson and senior Kyler Krause will represent the guys.

The Wildcats of Shelby County will also be sending three representatives. Freshman Emilie Chapple and eight grader Jorja Nassirian will compete in the girls’ race. Nassirian is coming off a career high third place finish in sectionals. Junior Jesse Jones will be the only Wildcat guy running in the state meet.

Class 3A

Only one 3A team from the county advanced to the state championship, and that’s the Indian Springs boys’ team. The guys finished third behind American Christian Academy and Montgomery Academy. The girls just missed out on qualifying, but because there were only four teams in their sectional, they will still be sending five ladies to compete in the state meet.

Class 1A/2A 

The Westminster School at Oak Mountain will be represented by both their boys’ and girls’ team in the state championship, and each has a great chance to bring home the title. The girls have dominated all season long and are coming off a perfect score of 15 in their sectional. The guys also had a strong performance in the sectional as they posted their two best 5K times of the year.