- Cullman, Alabama

October 9, 2013

PREP CROSS COUNTRY: St. Bernard's Ayers, Mami win girls, boys races at Fairview meet

Staff Reports
The Cullman Times

FAIRVIEW — At cross country meets two years ago, Ayleana Mami was content with her time as long as it was faster than her brother, Steven's.

Sorry, sis, but that ship's been sailing for awhile now.

Steven Mami won his first-ever varsity race, and Logan Ayers won her kajillionth, helping St. Bernard sweep both individual titles at Fairview's Hay of a Run meet on Tuesday.

Right behind Ayers (18:48) in second was none other than Ayleana Mami (19:04). The dynamic duo also grabbed the top-two spots at the Aggies' annual event in 2011.

“That was a heckuva time and heckuva race,” Saint coach William Calvert said of Ayers before turning his attention to the twosome. “The 1-2 punch seems to be back at the right time here moving toward the sectional meet.”

Seventh-grader Ivy Edge (19:57) also cracked the top 10 in eighth. Her sister, Jaden (20:29), landed in 15th, while the youngest Mami, Leahrose (21:10), claimed 23rd to wrap up a second-place team finish for St. Bernard's girls.

Lawrence County, which won both team titles, had 35 points to edge the Class 1A Lady Saints by just eight.

“We were second to the second-ranked team in 5A, so that's not too bad,” Calvert said.

Steven Mami's showing in the boys' 5K wasn't too bad, either. According to his coach, the sophomore ran a “smart race,” hanging around fifth or sixth for the first half before taking charge in the second to cross the line in 16:13, a comfy 14 seconds ahead of the next-best runner.

“I was real excited for him,” Calvert said of Mami. “He's been working hard since back in the summer. This was definitely his best race. He had some confidence out there.”

Oscar Perez (16:52) wasn't far behind in seventh, while Thomas Russell (18:02), Nate Giffin (18:03) and Isaias Robles stayed close in 33rd, 35th and 36th, respectively, to propel St. Bernard's boys to fourth as a team.

West Point, Fairview and Hanceville were 7-8-9 and Holly Pond was 12th, with all five counting runners from each of the four local schools cracking the top 100 in a sizable field of 215.

The Warriors were led by Nick Johnson (17:10) in 13th. He was followed by Joey Riggs (18:13), 40th; Nick Parrott (18:18), 43rd; Nick Roman (18:31), 52nd; and Luke Tucker (19:12), 78th.

The host Aggies' best time came from Reece Walker (17:43), who glided to 27th. Other Fairview contributors were Jerrami Browder (18:28), 49th; Colby Chapman (18:33), 54th; Kurtis Miller (19:20), 84th; and Jacob Guthrie (19:48), 97th.

Matt Burns (17:17) was the boy to beat for the Bulldogs in 16th. Hanceville's other scores came from Evan McMilan (18:11), 38th; Casey Guthery (18:25), 47th; Ethan Yarbrough (19:13), 79th; and Kaleb Jones (19:32), 90th.

The Broncos' first and fifth runners finished a mere 34 seconds apart. Parker Smith (18:40) was out front in 57th, followed by Payden Smith (18:47) in 60th, Austin Hammonds (18:49) in 62nd, Dawson Foust (18:54) in 67th and Colton Teeling (19:04) in 75th.

Over on the girls' side, Fairview corralled ninth, Holly Pond and West Point 11-12 and Hanceville 14th.

Kennedy Chambers (22:19) was tops for the Aggies in 41st, followed by Tiffany Lodge (22:40) in 47th, August Stancil (23:43) in 66th, Maddie McNutt (23:57) in 68th and McKenna Chambers (26:48) in 102nd.

The Broncos' Nikki Christie (21:25) didn't waste any time en route to a 26th-place result. Holly Pond's other contributors were Haley Higginbotham (24:06), 71st; Savanah Reid (24:49), 78th; Logan Chambers (24:52), 79th; and Elizabeth Thompson (25:22), 86th.

Abby Wilson (22:41) anchored the Warriors in 48th, followed by Maddie Whitesell (23:32) in 62nd, Hannah Wisener (24:06) in 72nd, Caty Hoffpauir (25:49) in 90th and Ailysa Barnett (27:25) in 105th.

The Bulldogs' counting scores came from Maleah Howell (24:26), 74th; Jade Hollingsworth (24:45), 77th; Dulce Daniel (30:31), 121st; Gracie Simmons (30:43), 122nd; and Katie Owens (32:10), 125th.


% The Times' sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.