OAKVILLE, Ala. — There was no seventh heaven for Auburn High School’s girls’ cross country team or Scottsboro’s boys’ team at the AHSAA 67th State Championships Saturday.
The Class 7A boys’ title was decided by a tiebreaker and Auburn senior Maxwell Hardin left no doubt that he is Alabama cross country’s fastest high school runner.
Hardin clocked 14:43.63 in the 5K race – the fastest time in the state – to win the Class 7A boys’ individual championship on a rainy Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds Park for the 2022 AHSAA Cross Country Championships. He crossed the finish line with his arms outstretched to each side as if he was ready to hug his first individual cross country title.
Hardin set a new course record in the process. Mac Conwell of St. Paul’s Episcopal was second in 14:56.40 – and also broke the old mark. Best time in the AHSAA State Championships was clocked in 2004 by Robert Bedsole of Hoover (15:11.23). Vestavia Hills’ Coy Macoy won the 1981 big-school race with a time of 14:40.9, but the race was 3 miles then, and not 3.1 miles (5K).
In the Class 7A girls’ race, Chelsea won the team championship, ending Auburn’s six-year reign as the state’s best team in the largest girls’ classification. Chelsea, competing in Class 7A for the first time, placed four runners in the top 10 and all five scorers in the top 13, led by Ty Cason’s third-place finish. Auburn’s Sarah Tole won the individual title in 18:02.91, and Auburn finished runner-up in the team competition.
In 5A boys’ competition, American Christian halted Scottsboro’s team championship streak at six, despite Scottsboro’s Evan Hill edging teammate Stephen Jones in a photo finish in the championship Saturday’s closest race. Hill clocked 15:37.34, and Jones was timed at 15:37.35.
American Christian placed four runners in the top 10 and all five scorers in the top 16 to end Scottsboro’s championship streak. Scottsboro took home the team runner-up trophy.
In 7A boys, Huntsville was running for a fifth straight title and tied with Vestavia Hills with 60 points apiece. The Rebels won the state championship – the school’s first cross country title since 2012 – on a tiebreaker that factored each team’s sixth runner finish. Vestavia Hills’ No. 6 runner, freshman John Hayes, finished eight spots ahead of Huntsville’s Jack Gruber, the Panthers’ No. 6 runner, to give the Rebels the championship. The Panthers finished second.
Lawrence County’s girls again reigned atop 5A, as the Red Devils swept the first three individual spots. Savannah Williams won a second straight individual title by clocking 18:17.92 with teammates Katie Mae Coan (18:46.03) finishing second and Savannah’s sister Taylor Williams clocking 19:03.79 to take third.
Mountain Brook senior Reagan Riley also repeated as 6A girls champion, finishing in 17:57.30. It’s the second time this season Riley broke the 18-minute barrier. Mountain Brook swept the girls’ and boys’ team titles in 6A, and Homewood finished runner-up in both.
Three girls’ teams repeated as state champs – Providence Christian, which won 3A last year and moved up to 4A this season; Lawrence County with its third straight title in 5A; and Mountain Brook in 6A.
Two boys’ teams earned a second straight title – Bayshore Christian in 3A after moving up from 1A-2A, and Providence Christian in 4A after moving up from 3A.
Cold Springs’ Ethan Edgeworth won a second straight individual title in 1A-2A, clocking 15:53.26 to beat teammate Jayden Allred by more than a minute.
Indian Springs’ Elise Picard also ran away with the 3A girls’ race and won by more than a minute, finishing in 19:11.32. Vinemont’s Ethan Lemons also won the 3A boys’ competition by nearly a minute with a time of 16:05.90.
White Plains’ Maddyn Conn won the 4A title by more nearly 30 seconds over Providence Christian’s Millicent Talmadge, providing redemption after finishing runner-up last year by less than a second in a photo finish.
Lexington’s Victoria Woods won the 1A-2A girls’ race to become the first individual state cross country champ for her school’s history.
2022 AHSAA Individual Girls’ Champions
7A: Sarah Tole, Auburn 18:02.91
6A: Reagan Riley, Mountain Brook 17:57.30
5A: Savannah Williams, Lawrence County 18:17.92
4A: Maddyn Conn, White Plains 18:59.61
3A: Elise Picard, Indian Springs 19:11.32
1A-2A: Victoria Woods, Lexington 20:55.94
2022 AHSAA Individual Boys’ Champions
7A: Maxwell Hardin, Auburn 14:46.63
6A: Charles Perry, UMS-Wright 15:43.54
5A: Evan Hill, Scottsboro 15:37.34
4A: Dakota Frank, Munford 16:00.86
3A: Ethan Lemons, Vinemont 16:05.90
1A-2A: Ethan Edgeworth, Cold Springs 15:53.26
2022 AHSAA Girls’ Team Champions & Runners-up
7A: 1. Chelsea 35; 2. Auburn 60
6A: 1. Mountain Brook 33; 2. Homewood 88
5A: 1. Lawrence County 27; 2. Bayside Academy 78
4A: 1. Providence Christian 69; 2. Houston Academy 88
3A: 1. Altamont 55; 2. Whitesburg Christian 82
1A-2A: St. Luke’s Episcopal 78; 2. Cold Springs 102
2022 AHSAA Boys’ Team Champions & Runners-up
7A: 1. Vestavia Hills 60; 2. Huntsville 60 (VH won in tie breaker based 6th runner finish)
6A: 1. Mountain Brook 47; 2. Homewood 65
5A: 1. American Christian 38; 2. Scottsboro 54
4A: 1. Providence Christian 48; 2. Hamilton 106
3A: 1. Bayshore Christian 55; 2. Trinity Presbyterian 64
1A-2A: 1. Cold Springs 44; 2. Hatton 64