Miles Brush wins state championship, highlights local 6A runners at state meet

Published 6:34 am Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

OAKVILLE – It almost seemed inevitable that when Miles Brush traveled to Oakville Indian Mounds Park on Saturday, Nov. 6, he would walk away a state champion.

The Chelsea senior entered the race with five consecutive first-place finishes, including the sectional championship a week earlier and had only finished one race with a time slower than 16 minutes (His section championship time of 16:23.42).

So when he hit the course, he built off his previous success and put together another clutch performance to repeat as the Class 6A Cross Country State Champion.

Brush ran the race in 15:23.96 to claim the championship, which was just two seconds off his pace set in last year’s win, while he finished nine seconds ahead of second place.

It brought to an end a special close to the season for Brush, who finished with six consecutive wins with his lone non win coming with a sixth-place finish at a national competition in his first event.

But just as impressive for the Hornets was their finish of third in the overall team standings, which marked the highest finish in school history under first-year head coach Trey Lee.

Behind Brush, Elijah Williams closed out a special season by finishing 13th, while Thomas Ludwig, Andrew Fielding, Camden Thomas and Hudson Williams all finished inside the top 50.

Williams posted a new personal record in the race, finishing with a time of 16:10.20 to play a major factor in school history for Chelsea, while Ludwig put together his fastest finish of the season with a time of 16:38.53 to also play a factor.

Behind Chelsea’s boys, it was Helena who finished the next highest in the team standings by claiming 10th.

The Huskies were led by Caden Blackman in 26th with a time 16:36.41. Aspen Warren also finished inside the top 50 for Helena, claiming 49th with a time of 17:04.43.

The Briarwood Lions finished one spot lower in 11th as a team and were led by Brandon Dixon in 33rd with a time of 16:47.07.

Luke Thompson finished just a few spots lower in 38th behind a time of 16:50.61, while Ford Thornton finished just inside the top 50 thanks to a time of 17:00.32, which earned him 47th.

Michael Kuper was Pelham’s highest finisher in 84th with a time of 17:43.43, which helped the Panthers finish 21 as a team, while Calera was one spot lower in 22nd thanks to Michael Jones’ finish of 118th behind a time of 18:16.41 in a race that finished close to 250 athletes.

The success didn’t stop in the boys race for the Hornets, as Cady McPhail closed out a special season with a top-five finish.

She ran one of her fastest times of the season, finishing the race in 18:33.60. McPhail finished inside the top six of her final six events, including two wins and four finishes inside the top three. She finished inside the top 20 of every event this season, with her lowest finish of 20th coming in the Chickasaw Trails Invitational, while she finished 16th in the national Southern Showcase.

As a team, however, it was Briarwood who highlighted the girls meet. The Lions were led by Mary Grace Parker, who finished inside the top 10 thanks to claiming seventh behind a time of 18:46.74.

Bela Doss and Lena Anne Parker both finished highly for the Lions as well. Doss claimed 22nd behind a time of 19:46.62 to close out her sophomore season, while Parker finished 33rd with a time of 20:14.24 as an eighth grader.

Ty Cason grabbed a top-40 finish for the Hornets in addition to McPhail. Cason took 39th as an eighth grader, running the event in 20:26.32.

Helena was led by Mallory Barton with her finish of 45th. She ran the race in 20:32.47. Teammate Ashlynn Beery finished just outside the top 50 in 54th with a time of 20:49.54, while Lindsey May was a few spots lower in 63rd thanks to her time of 20:59.08.

Pelham had two runners finish inside the top 50 thanks to impressive performances from freshman Lacey Lambert and eighth grader Emily Wester.

Lambert finished 41st with a time of 20:28.65, while Wester took home a finish of 49th behind a time of 20:39.52.

Calera was led by Isabella Jones in 178th with a time of 24:33.06.