Westminster girls bring home State Championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

MOULTON – The Westminster School at Oak Mountain girls’ cross country team placed five girls in the top 15 and took home the schools’ first girls cross country state championship on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the AHSAA Cross Country State Championships.

The Lady Knights competed in the Class 1A/2A division and posted a total score of 42 in their winning effort, which was 46 points higher than second place Hatton and 47 points better than third place St. Bernard.

Westminster was led by senior Maddie Hoaglund, who ran the 5K in 19:53.61, which was good enough for fourth place in the race. Hoaglund’s fourth place finish was the highest individual finish for any girl or guy county runner across all classifications.

Junior Sarah Kate Lipperd was the next highest finisher for Westminster and the only other top 10 finisher as she took seventh place in the race with a time of 20:10.89.

Younger runners like eighth grader Hallie Porterfield, who finished in eighth with a time of 21:03.51, and freshman Arden McCullough, who finished in 14th with a time of 21:21.20; as well as veterans like Camryn Neal, who finished her last state championship as a senior in 12th after running the race in 21:05.81, all helped contribute to the strong performance after finishing in the top 15.

The rest of the Lady Knight’s state championship team finished as followed:

Junior Camilla Lemons, 21st, 21:54.34.

Freshman Katie Hoaglund, 22nd, 21:55.20.

Junior Rachel Faulk, 28th, 22:08.03.

Freshman Bekah Anderson, 52, 23:32.15.

Seventh grader Courtney Callahan, 59, 24:08.18.

The Westminster guys’ cross country team also had a strong showing in the state championships as they finished in third behind Cold Springs and St. Bernard. The top three scores were 58, 64 and 85, respectively.

The Knights were led by eighth grader Hunter Wright, who posted a strong sixth place finish with a time of 17:03.55. Sophomore John Porterfield, 15, and junior Pierce Moffett, 19, were the other two top 20 finishers for Westminster with times of 17:49.67 and 17:57.57, respectively.