COLD SPRINGS — Surprise. Surprise.
Well, not really.
If there ever was an absolute in sports, it would be the winners of the Cullman County cross country championships.
These two runners win almost every time they step onto the course, especially when facing local competition.
Nathan Lewis? The Cold Springs High senior has only won the last three individual county titles.
And now he has a fourth.
Lewis maneuvered his way through the 5K course at Cold Springs in 16:12.27, winning the individual crown yet again Monday morning.
What about Palee Myrex? Another Cold Springs senior, and another repeat offender.
Myrex has dominated local competition this season, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. She’s only been one of the area’s top distance runners since 2006.
But mishaps and competition from a former teammate have prevented Myrex from winning an individual county championship.
Myrex finished the course in 20:21.04, beating West Point’s Whitney Brown and Good Hope’s Nina Mills by more than two minutes to win the varsity girls 5K.
This was the first time Myrex finished the race without a mishap since 2006. She finished second to former Cold Springs teammate Jessi Harbison that season.
As a sophomore in 2007, Myrex was leading midway through the race when one of her shoes fell off. The Cold Springs distance runner kicked her other shoe off and finished second to former Fairview standout ChaLyce Stancil, despite running on bare feet.
Myrex also led most of the county championship race last season, but fell down on the final stretch. Stancil won that race, too.
But this year it was all Myrex. No one else was close.
Her dominant performance paced a fourth straight county team championship for the Cold Springs varsity girls. Haven Watson, Emily Campbell, Olivia Calvert and Cassie Still all finished in the top 10 for the Eagles.
The Cold Springs varsity boys also won their fourth straight team county championship. Blake Calvert finished third overall with a 19:16.64, and Kyle Haynes, Lucas Marsh, Will Busby and Tyler Campbell all finished in the top 10.
Good Hope’s varsity boys finished second, despite not having any runners in the top 10. The varsity girls team, led by Raiders coach Mike Jones, also finished second.
In the junior varsity boys division, Cold Springs won the team championship while Eagles runner Christian Hulsey took the top individual spot with a 14:45.41. Vinemont’s Char Stevens took second with a 15:13.89, while Fairview’s Josh Kilgore took third with a 15:29.89.
The junior varsity girls division was the only one not won by Cold Springs. Holly Pond won the team championship, edging second-place finisher Fairview.
Fairview’s Porcha Hunter won the JV girls race with a 17:17.09, while a pair of Holly Pond runners — Natasha Holcombe and Meg Gambrill — took second and third with times of 18:09.13 and 18:10.13, respectively.