Cason takes top spot, other girls run well at Helena meet

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HELENA – Chelsea’s Teanna Cason claimed her first cross country victory for the Hornets at the 2019 Helena Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12, to continue an impressive season.

Finishing with a time of 20:39.88, she won the race by 20 seconds over Helena’s Ana Watters, both of who have been two of the state’s stronger runners so far this season.

Leading up to the race, Cason had finished inside the top seven four different times, but had yet to win an event. With the special first victory, she has now finished inside the top two twice this season.

Watters has also been on the verge this season and now has three top seven finishes on the year, with this second-place finish now being her best of the season so far.

She also played a key role in the Huskies winning the overall team title in their home event with four finishers inside the top 10.

Cason helped the Hornets pick up a finish of third in the team standings, while Oak Mountain finished just behind in fourth.

Oak Mountain’s Lauren Cole was the next highest finisher behind the top two, as the eighth grader for the Eagles claimed fourth in the event with a time of 21:11.98 in one of her first varsity events.

Just behind her was Helena’s Madison Tsimpides in fifth with a time of 21:21.64. She was one of three other Helena runners to finish inside the top 15 outside of Watters, as Mallory Barton claimed eighth with a time of 22:54.00 and Ashlynn Beery claimed 12th with a time of 23:25.78.

Other top 15 finishers from the county included Chelsea’s Avery Thompson, who claimed seventh with a time of 22:17.86, and Pelham’s Sydney Stephenson, who finished 14th with a time of 23:37.73.

The Panthers also saw another top 20 finishers in Zitaly Pacheco, who claimed 19th with a time of 24:21.82.

Oak Mountain ended up with four other runners inside the top 30 thanks to Madeline Hubert finishing 22nd with a time of 24:43.46, Meredith Shoemaker finishing 24th with a time of 24:51.56, Sydney Heidrich finishing 27th with a time of 25:02.64 and Emily Faircloth finishing 28th with a time of 25:07.09.

Chelsea’s other top-30 finisher was Joss O’Kelley in 23rd with a time of 24:51.38.

Helena ended the race with two others in the top 30 to complete a strong showing, as Emery Bishop claimed 26th with a time of 24:58.75 and Lindsey May claimed 30th with a time of 25:13.17.