Several girls teams fare well at OM XC event

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Oak Mountain, Westminster at Oak Mountain, Helena and Pelham all finished inside the top seven at the 2017 Oak Mountain Invitational hosted by Oak Mountain at Heardmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The host Eagles finished in second as a team just behind Hoover, to be the highest county finisher at the event. Oak Mountain came up just short in both the boys and girls race as they also finished second behind Hoover in the boys’ race.

The girls posted 87 points, as Hoover won it rather handily posting just 21 points in the event after having five finishers in the top seven and eight in the top 16.

Oak Mountain was led by Evie Bell in third, who now has back-to-back third place finishes after taking third at the Shelby County XC Championship as well. Bell finished the race with a time of 20:23.07, which was just narrowly off the winning pace of 20:07.38 set by Hoover’s Ava Weems.

Kate Van Beek in 12th and Emma Grace Phillips in 14th were the only other top 25 finishers for the Eagles.

Westminster at Oak Mountain actually had the most top 10 finishers from the county as freshman Hallie Porterfield took eighth and senior Sarah Kate Lipperd took ninth. Porterfield finished with a time of 20:42.10, while Lipperd finished with a time of 20:44.22.

Fall down the standings 10 spots and the Knights added two more top 20 finishers as sophomore Arden McCullough took 19th with a time of 21:33.39 and senior Camilla Lemons took 20th with a time of 21:37.27.

The strong performance led to a third place finish for Westminster in the team standings.

The Helena Huskies have had a solid start to the 2017 season as well and it continued at Heardmont as the Huskies finished in sixth as a team.

Helena was led by two sophomores in Abigail Ford and Ana Watters. Ford finished 15th with a time of 21:23.57, while Watters finished in 32nd with a time of 22:28.48.

Just behind the Huskies in seventh were the Pelham Panthers, who got three strong performances from three juniors, Meredith Bass, Alex Wilkins and Madilyn Dubose.

Bass led the pack by finishing in 22nd with a time of 21:45.52. Not too far behind her was Wilkins, who finished in 27th with a time of 22:09.66. Dubose took 37th after finishing the race in 22:54.37.