Cross Country Teams Finish Strong
Story Courtesy of Coach Lars Porter
It was a great year for the Homewood High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams. The boys team finished the season bringing home their third-straight State Championship trophy. The girls team outplaced all early season rankings by finishing as the 6A State Runner-up. Both races were close and required official results to confirm the placing.
The girls team raced first on November 8th, and five seventh-grade girls joined five high school girls in what we knew was going to be a tight race. John Carroll had been ranked first all season, but Scottsboro had come on strong towards the end of the year. The Lady Patriots were led by Lainey Phelps who placed 2nd individually. Edie Smith followed her in fifteenth place, earning All-State honors. With just a minute and twenty seconds separating Homewood’s first and fifth runners, the girls secured the runner-up team score only 11 points behind John Carroll. Scottsboro’s girls finished only three points behind the Patriots.
The boys team raced later in the morning, and the seasoned team appeared focused and ready to win their third straight title. Opelika’s boys cross country team has been formidable all season, however, so everyone knew that it was going to take an honest effort to win. As the boys came through the 1-mile marker under 5:00, Homewood’s boys were in charge. As the boys came through two miles, Alex Ngei, Logan Sadler, and Andy Smith were in the top five, but Opelika’s #3, #4, and #5 runners had moved up significantly. Alex finished the race in 2nd place behind Opelika’s Ben Bryant. Logan Sadler placed 4th with Andy Smith placing 5th. Fulton Williams battled to secure All-State honors with a 12th place finish. As the coaches tallied the unofficial score, it appeared that Opelika’s late move in the race placed the two teams tied through five runners. Scoring defaults to the sixth runner’s place, which would have given Opelika the win. As official results were released and indepently qualifying athletes were removed from team scoring, Homewood landed one point below Opelika making the results official.
Needless to say, it was an extremely exciting day that put well-deserved closure to a season of dedicated work. With some rest over Thanksgiving break, the boys and girls will enter Indoor Track with high expectations.