Add Fairview and Cullman to the list of schools from The Times’ coverage area with boys and girls cross country teams heading to state.
With strong showings at their respective section meets on Thursday and Friday, the Aggies and Bearcats joined St. Bernard and Cold Springs as local squads that will compete for the grand prize at the Oakville Indian Mounds in Moulton next Saturday.
Fairview's girls claimed Class 4A's Section 3 title Thursday in Trussville, while its boys finished third — only three points behind second-place Corner — to earn a spot at the season's most important meet.
The Lady Aggies nearly put together a perfect score with five of the top-six runners. Porcha Hunter crossed the line in first more than a minute before Corner's Katie Criswell, who was trailed by Fairview's Ashley Sena, August Stancil, Maddie McNutt and Alexus Lindsey in third through sixth. Alex McDonald landed in 11th for the Purple and Gold.
Reece Walker got the Aggie boys' scoring started with a sixth-place result. The team's other contributors were Kurtis Miller (11th), Jerrami Browder (12th), Josh Kilgore (16th) and Colby Chapman (23rd).
Cullman’s boys and girls both grabbed second-place honors behind Lawrence County at the 5A, Section 4 meet Friday in Florence.
Nicholas Fillinger motored to third individually to lead the Bearcat boys for a second time this season. The sophomore speedster was joined in the top 15 by teammates Mark Gomez (eighth), Devan Hall (ninth), Stephen McNeal (10th) and Jesse Burroughs (13th).
Individual girls results for Cullman were not available by deadline of this article.
“We are looking forward to finishing our tapering this week in training, and we should be at our strongest this coming Saturday at state,” Bearcat coach Trent Dean said. “Our athletes are very excited about this opportunity.”
Holly Pond Centennial 5K
Dean set the perfect example for his cross country student-athletes by winning the Holly Pond Centennial 5K on Saturday.
The Cullman coach completed the race in 19:23, edging out Caley Dean by only seven seconds. Robert Franklin was third with a time of 19:55.
Instead of hogging the 15 minutes of fame to himself, the first-place finisher was more content with bragging on the accomplishments of the two runners who completed the race directly behind him.
“Caley and Robert have been working extremely hard to get into the 19’s, and today, they were finally victorious,” Trent Dean said. “Today’s personal best for them was a culmination of multiple years of work.”
% The Times' sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.