Thompson, Spain Park, Oak Mountain all have runners qualify for state

Published 7:53 am Monday, November 1, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – It was a historic day at the 2021 Class 7A, Section 3 Cross Country Championship held at Veterans Park in Hoover on Thursday, Oct. 28.

During the event, Oak Mountain, Spain Park and Thompson all qualified runners for state in the boys and girls races, but it was a particularly special day for the Spain Park girls and Thompson boys.

The Jaguars saw their girls finish inside the necessary top four to qualify their entire team for the Class 7A state meet, while Thompson’s boys did the same to qualify a full Thompson team for the state meet for the first time in school history.

Competing in a difficult section that also features runners from Hewitt-Trussville, Hoover and Vestavia Hills, those two were impressive in competing with some of the state’s top teams.

For Thompson’s boys, it was another impressive performance from senior Jackson Hamlin that helped make the difference in the entire team qualifying.

In the midst of his best season for the Warriors, Hamlin finished second in the race individually with a time of 16:49.93, which was just six seconds off the winning pace.

Behind him, Cameron Prosser, Ethan Jones and Matthew Hamlin all finished inside the top 30 for the Warriors.

Prosser finished 14th with a time of 17:39.54, Jones finished 25th with a time of 18:06.00 and Hamlin finished 27th with a time of 18:13.32.

Ultimately, Ian Boackle finishing 39th made the difference in the end. He did so with a time of 18:37.83, which helped the Warriors beat out Spain Park for the final team qualifying spot by one point.

Spain Park’s girls were also led by a second-place finisher individually. Mackenzie Culpepper continued her impressive season by taking home second with a time of 20:35.35.

Just as important in helping the team finish third was the finish of both Peyton LeCroy and Delaney Vickers.

Both finished inside the top 10 with LeCroy finishing ninth thanks to a time of 21:02.09 and Vickers finishing 10th with a time of 21:03.61.

Savannah Hodgens also added a top-15 finish for the Jaguars. The senior took 12th behind a time of 21:12.50.

Gianna Thornton, Mackenzie Colbaugh and Chloe Finnocchiaro also finished inside the top 40.

In addition to the two full teams qualifying, Spain Park and Oak Mountain each qualified runners for the boys’ state meet, while Oak Mountain’s girls took up all six individual qualifying spots for the state meet.

The Oak Mountain girls had the best mark with the Eagles taking up all six of the individual qualifying spots outside of the top four teams that qualified.

The Eagles were led by Faith Scardino, Catarina Williams, Lauren Cole and Rachael Whitley inside the top 25.

Scardino finished 14th with a time of 21:15.48, Williams finished 17th with a time of 21:33.37, Cole finished 21st with a time of 21:46.91 and Whitley finished 24th with a time of 22:05.90.

Nina Evans in 29th and Hayley Datema in 31st both qualified as well.

As for the boys, Spain Park qualified Kenneth Bishop, Webb Harper and Garrett Bishop.

Kenneth Bishop was the highest of the three to qualify with his finish of ninth thanks to a time of 17:20.11.

Harper added a top-20 finish of 19th thanks to a time of 17:54.39, while Bishop was one spot lower in 20th with a time of 17:54.71.

Oak Mountain was led by Josh Stidfole and Matthew Womak.

Stidfole finished inside the top 10 taking 10th on the nose with a time of 17:26.89, while Womak finished 18th behind a time of 17:53.14.

The state meet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Oakville Indian Mounds Park starting at 8:30 a.m.