E.A. Sports Today

PV smothers & covers the field

Pleasant Valley Sweeps Waffle House/Yellow Jacket Invitational

The Pleasant Valley boys cross country team breaks into their happy dance as they collect the winner's trophy Saturday.

The Pleasant Valley boys cross country team breaks into their happy dance as they collect the winner’s trophy Saturday.

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Everywhere you looked Saturday morning at Oxford Lake there was a Pleasant Valley runner in view. Especially near the front of the line.

The Raiders used superior depth and a spectacular performance from eighth-grader Trinity Roberts to sweep the 10th annual Waffle House/Yellow Jacket Cross Country Invitational.

Both PV teams placed all five of their scorers among the top 20 scorers of their respective races.

Roberts led a 1-3-8 PV finish in the girls race (20:09.16). Junior Matisse Miller (18:07.55) led PV in the boys race with a fifth-place finish.

Southside’s Hunter Nails won the boys race in 16:51.56.

The event, Oxford’s traditional season-opener, has grown every year and drew 24 teams the boys and girls events Saturday. The increased competition level did not matter as the Raiders took care of business with a bevy of solid performances.

Their defending state champion girls team served notice they are going to be very hard to dethrone in 2016, and the boys stepped up to make a claim to contend.

“We are light years ahead of where we were at last year at this time,” PV coach Brad Hood said. “We had a good off-season. We set no goals and we just let them run. I am so proud of these kids. They love each other and support each other and have fun.”

In the girls race Roberts set up right behind the leader who set a brisk early pace and then just exploded over the last 800 yards to pull away from Jacksonville’s Rebecca Hearn. She won with a personal best time.

Hearn was second (20:25.71) and Westbrook Christian’s Mary Reid Goodwin was third overall (20:43.60). PV’s Rachel Faucett was fourth, Emma Hood ninth, Bailey Dollar 20th and Elizabeth Hall 21st.

“I just tried to stay ahead of a Jacksonville jersey,” said Roberts. “I had no idea I was going to do this well. I just kept running and drafted some behind the leader. I knew I had to get going the last mile and I just took off and passed her in the 800 loop.

“I ran a lot this summer, but I feel like I am nowhere near the shape I need to be in. I know I can get better next time.”

Ohatchee placed third, White Plains fifth and Oxford sixth in the girls event.

Miller’s fifth in the boys race was a huge performance considering he’s coming back from a nasty leg gash chasing Pokemon earlier this summer and has only been running again for two weeks.

Southside’s Hunter Nails won the boys race by some 52 seconds over his younger brother Taylor, but led by Miller PV put five scorers in the top 18 to squeak past McEachern (Ga.) by six points.

Daniel Gladen (12), Jacob Gladen (13), Caleb Kirk (17), Isaiah Rodriguez (18), Dakota Roberts (31) and Skyler Mcleod (32) all finished high for the Raiders.

Oxford’s Reed Robinson came in third (17:47.58) and the Yellow Jackets finished fourth in the team standings.

At Oxford Lake Course, Oxford

Team scores:
Pleasant Valley 49, McEachern 104, Ohatchee 117, Ashville 117, White Plains 127, Oxford 161, Southside-Gadsden 176, Jacksonville 210, Glencoe 254, Moody 306, Gadsden City 327, Bibb County 329, Cedar Bluff 361, Saks 365, Valley 368, Springville 404.

Individual Top 15
Trinity Roberts, Pleasant Valley 20:09.16
Rebecca Hearn, Jacksonville 20:25.71
Mary Reid Goodwin, Westbrook Christian 20:43.60
Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley 21:20.11
Meghan McCarthy, Ashville 21:46.23
Madison Reeder, Oxford 22:14.40
Zaria Ratchford, McEachern 22:18.73
Jayda Fair, Ohatchee 22:20.40
Emma Hood, Pleasant Valley 22:21.87
Kathleen McCarthy, Ashville 22:33.48
Hartley Reynolds, Gadsden City 22:33.69
Callie Stewart, Ashville 22:45.28
Briar Poytress, White Plains 22:53.75
Alyssa Hudgins, White Plains 23:02.44
Madison Hill, Lincoln 23:07.40

Team scores:
Pleasant Valley 65, McEachern 71, Moody 123, Oxford 158, Southside-Gadsden 184, Ohatchee 200, Ashville 210, White Plains 221, Valley 277, Springville 286, Gadsden City 299, Jacksonville 311, Bibb County 334, Lincoln 267, Saks 371, Westbrook Christian 445, Glencoe 507, Jefferson Christian 507, Cedar Bluff 509, Faith Christian 548.

Individual Top 15
Hunter Nails, Southside-Gadsden 16:51.56
Taylor Nails, Southside-Gadsden 17:43.31
Reed Robinson, Oxford 17:47.58
Daniel Tully, Ashville 17:53.60
Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley 18:07.55
Jonah Morris, Gadsden City 18:09.68
Justin Seymour, McEachern 18:10.77
Gabe Hammonds, Ohatchee 18:11.54
Robert Jordan, McEachern 18:13.31
Justin Dowdle, Moody 18:18.74
Timothy Vanjohnson, McEachern 18:21.11
Daniel Gladen, Pleasant Valley 18:24.77
Jacob Gladen, Pleasant Valley 18:31.63
Kevin Barajas, Jacksonville 18:51.57
Brian King, Bibb County 19:02.43

Pleasant Valley's Trinity Roberts comes across the finish line to win the girls race.

Pleasant Valley’s Trinity Roberts comes across the finish line to win the girls race.

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