Evie Bell, Oak Mountain win Shelby County XC Championship
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
ALABASTER – It was a strong day for the Oak Mountain Eagles’ girls cross country team at the Shelby County Cross Country Championship held at Alabaster’s Veterans Park on Tuesday, Sept. 24, highlighted by a champion, four top 10 finishers and five top 15 finishers.
Competing against the best runners from Shelby County, the biggest highlight was Evie Bell. The senior for Oak Mountain ran the race in 20:32.21, which wasn’t just good enough to claim the top spot, but won by 30 seconds over second place.
It marked the first win of the 2019 season for Bell, who also has finishes of fourth at the Early Bird Twilight and 12th at the Chickasaw Trails Invitational.
Her strong showing, along with a finish of fourth form Emma Grace Phillips, seventh from Adrienne Cooley, 10th from Lexi Ray and 13th from Savannah Michael, was more than enough for the Eagles to claim the overall team title by 31 points over the Helena Huskies in second.
Phillips finished the race with a time of 21:26.15, Cooley finished with a time of 22:31.15, Ray finished with a time of 23:18.77 and Michael finished with a time of 23:54.86.
Finishing out the top three of the standings were Chelsea’s Teanna Cason and Thompson’s Emily Allen. It marked the highest finish for each this season as well as the third top-10 finish for Cason and second top-10 finish for Allen. Cason finished the race with a time of 21:02.28, while Allen finished in 21:05.05.
The final top-five finisher was none other than Helena’s Ana Waters, who finished with a time of 22:05.63 and now has back-to-back top 10 finishes.
Helena added one other finisher in the top 10 thanks to Madison Tsimpides’ finish of eighth behind a time of 22:53.74.
Those two runners played a key role in helping Helena finish second overall in the team standings.
Briarwood also had two finish inside the top 10 with Adrienne Goolsby finishing sixth thanks to a time of 22:23.91 and Morgan Harris finishing ninth with a time of 23:05.11.
The Lions also had four other runners finish inside the top 25 and five inside the top 30, which helped them finish fourth in the overall team standings.
Emma Tarence finished 18th with a time of 25:19.15, Bethan Springfield finished 20th with a time of 25:24.57, Izzi Wells finished 22nd with a time of 25:50.11, Grace Kovakas finished 23rd with a time of 25:56.74 and Regan Morrow finished 29th with a time of 26:26.98.
The Thompson Warriors also had five others finish inside the top 30 led by Lauren Moon in 11th, who finished with a time of 23:36.79.
Other top 20 finishers for the Warriors were Nancy Kay Sharman in 16th with a time of 25:15.32 and Shelby Rollo in 19th with a time of 25:19.15. Behind that, Whitney Clark finished 24th and Lauren Hammett finished 26th.
Those group of runners helped Thompson claim third in the overall team standings.
Chelsea’s other top 30 finishers were Avery Thompson in 12th with a time of 23:47.91 and Joss O’Kelley in 25th with a time of 26:14.81.
Helena ended up with two more runners inside the top 15 and a total of three inside the top 25. Abigail Ford and Mallory Barton finished next to each other in 14th and 15th, respectively. Ford finished the race in 24:34.10, while Barton finished a second slower at 24:35.00. Ashlynn Beery added a finish of 21st with a time of 25:26.59.
Oak Mountain’s strong showing also saw two more top 30 finishers in Sarah Buttery and Madeline Hubbert. Buttery finished 27th with a time of 26:19.27, while Hubbert finished 28th with a time of 26:19.32. The Eagles also saw Sydney Heidrich, Claire Wilson and Mae Mae Trammel finish 31st, 32nd and 34th, respectively.
Pelham’s highest finisher of the event was Sydney Stephenson in 17th with a time of 25:18.33, while Gabrielle Bass finished 35th with a time of 27:19.33.
The Shelby County Wildcats also had a top-30 finisher in Mary Moore, who claimed 30th with a time of 26:41.55, while Emilie Chapple finished 50th for the Wildcats with a time of 29:07.07.
The highest finisher for the Montevallo Bulldogs was Yulliana Gutierrez in 57th with a time of 29:35.96.
Calera’s highest finisher was Lamiyah Campbell in 66th with a time of 30:42.09, while Keely Rollf, Isabella Jones, Maggie Cole and Alyssa Gallahan finished 69th, 73rd, 84th and 90th, respectively.
In the team standings, Chelsea finished fifth, while Calera claimed sixth.
Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.