Helena, Thompson perform well at Warrior XC Challenge

Published 11:36 am Friday, August 31, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – With several of their best runners back on this year’s team, the Helena Huskies and Thompson Warriors are expected to have big seasons again in 2018, and each showed why after competing in the boys and girls 2-mile Warrior Challenge at Veterans Park in Alabaster on Thursday, Aug. 30, to kick off the new cross country season.

While neither team won finished first in the overall standings, they did have strong performances against top-tier teams thanks to several individual finishers inside the top 15 of the standings.

Starting in the boys’ race, both Jace Jones and Brandon Lee continued their successful careers with finishes of second and third, respectively. Jones finished the race in 10:29.77, while Lee was just behind with a time of 10:33.61.

The overall winner of the event was Mountain Brook’s Hunter Harwell with a time of 10:21.78, but both Thompson runners showed they are primed for yet another fantastic season.

Helena’s Blake Childers was the next highest local finisher thanks to his time of 11:24.27, which was good enough for ninth place. Talon Pritchard also had a strong race for the Huskies, finishing in 17th with a time of 11:46.64.

The final top-20 runner for the Warriors was Luke Doe, who finished 20th on the nose with a time of 11:55.96.

In the overall team standings, Helena finished in third with 84 points, while the Thompson was narrowly behind in fourth with 87 points.

While there weren’t as many girls inside the top 10 of their race, McKenzie Hogue started the season off strong picking up where she left off last year thanks to a second-place finish.

She finished the two-mile race in 12:04.95, which was just nine seconds behind the winning time. Hogue ended up being the only local runner in the top 10 of the girls’ race.

Abby Grace Walker and Emily Allen also had strong showings for the Warriors finishing in 13th and 14th, respectively. Walker finished with a time of 14:05.14, while Allen finished right next to her teammate with a time of 14:05.23.

Helena ended the race with two athletes in the top 30 thanks to Abigail Ford’s finish of 22nd and Ana Watters’ finish of 30th. Ford finished the race with a time of 14:35.41, while Watters finished in 15:12.22.

Overall, Thompson’s girls finished third in the event with 78 points, while the Huskies finished sixth with 121 points.

It was a strong start to the season for both teams, as we’ve just begun what should be a promising cross country season.