E.A. Sports Today

All about redemption

Miller gets sweet redemption from last year’s Terrortorium race and with girls winner Roberts leads PV to sweep; Alexandria, Oxford win in Odenville

Pleasant Valley’s Matisse Miller wins the Terrortorium boys race purging some bad memories from last year’s race. On the cover, Miller, girls race winner Trinity Roberts and scary friend rule the day.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – The fact Matisse Miller left the course Saturday on two feet instead of four wheels, regardless what happened the rest of the race, made the day a success in itself.

That he won the boys race and the Pleasant Valley boys and girls cross country teams swept the Terrortorium On The Creekbank made it even better.

Miller, the state’s top-ranked runner in Class 3A, had been waiting for this race for a year “for revenge.” He returned to the scene of a devastating injury in this race a year ago, cruised past the scene of the “accident” and led the boys field across the line in a time of 16:55.84. Teammate Trinity Roberts won the girls race in 19:39.66.

Miller beat last year’s winning boys time by 33 seconds. Roberts came in 13 seconds ahead of last year’s winning girls time. PV’s boys placed four runners in the top 12 and scored 45 points, 17 ahead of McEachern. The girls had eight of the first 14 finishers and scored 23 points, 22 ahead of host Ohatchee.

“It was a big race for him because it was bad memories for him,” PV coach Brad Hood said. “He remembers riding in the cart on the way back. He was encouraged … just the ground he’s covered.”

Last year here Miller was running third in a pack that included eventual race winner Justin Seymour of McEachern and Ohatchee’s Gabe Hammonds on a back section of the course when his legs gave out and he crashed face first to the ground. It was determined he had cracked the top of the growth plates on each hip.

He missed the Raiders’ next two races, returned for the county meet and state championship but wasn’t anywhere near his usual form.

“This is the time of the year that everybody starts getting to where they want to peak out at the end of the season and getting hurt here last year kind of crushed my pride knowing that I was probably done for my entire junior season, which is a pretty big one for recruiting,” Miller said. “Being able to come out here and run a healthy race with (JSU) Coach (Steve) Ray over there watching … that gave me a boost of confidence.

“Redemption (was) a lot to it, honestly; coming back from a race I knew I should have won last year. Coming out here and being healthy to run a race and being able to finish like I did was the biggest thing.”

He started the race in a six-man pack that included Ashville’s Daniel Tully and Hammonds. When he got to the accident site Saturday, running second to Tully, there was a peace about him that eventually propelled him to the lead with about 500 meters to go.

“I did think about it during warm-ups a lot,” he said. “I guess it was a sense of relief knowing I got past where I got last year, like an accomplishment.”

In the girls event, Roberts and teammate Rachel Faucett ran shoulder-to-shoulder for most of the race — just like they push each other every day in practice – well ahead of the pack, but Roberts, a freshman, pulled away with her usual big finish at about the two-mile mark and won by nearly a minute. It was her third win of the season.

“It was intense,” Roberts said. “Our mile and two-mile were a lot faster with her than they would have been, so I’m glad she was there so I could help get my times better with her because we push each other a lot during the season and it helps. I’m just going to keep pushing. I consider myself at a good spot, but I try to never be satisfied with what I have.”

The Raiders had expected to return to action next week at White Plains, but Hood said they are pulling out of that event for a return to Oxford Lake to dissect every mile of the course in advance of what they expect to be a tight County Meet.

Oxford junior Reed Robinson came from finishing second in the Bullfrog Pond Classic in Odenville to win the men’s Open race when he outraced his coach Landon Delozier to the finish. Robinson ran 18:15.31 and won by 12 seconds. Lynn Mitchell won the women’s race in 28:43.60.

At Oxford Lake Course

Team scores:
Pleasant Valley 45, McEachern 62, Ashville 109, Springville 121, Gadsden City 159, Ohatchee 163, Lincoln 201, Faith Christian 234, Clay Central 254, Saks 261, Sacred Heart 266, Hokes Bluff 315, Cedar Bluff 329, Donoho 352, Handley 382.

Top 10 Individuals: Matisse Miller, PV 16:55.84; Daniel Tully, Ashville 17:05.20; Blake Noah, Ohatchee 17:23.97; Jonah Morris, Gadsden City 17:25.92; Graham Bianchi, Springville 17:27.94; Jacob Gladen, PV 17:35.00; Gabriel Olayinka, McEachern 17:36.39; Gabe Hammonds, Ohatchee 17:42.88; Jaylon Hudson, Lincoln 17:44.80; Skyler Mcleod, PV 17:55.59.

Team scores:
Pleasant Valley 23, Ohatchee 55, Cedar Bluff 114, Clay Central 126, McEachern 126, Springville 128, Saks 147, Handley 214.

Top 10 Individuals: Trinity Roberts, PV 19:39.66; Rachel Faucett, PV 20:34.61; Meghan McCarthy, Ashville 21:09.04; Kathleen McCarthy, Ashville 21:49.18; Brittany Caywood, Ohatchee 21:50.30; Zaria Ratchford, McEachern 22:08.12; Gracie Hood, PV 22:20.54; Juliana Ballew, PV 22:51.62; Clara Ryan, Ohatchee 22:57.48; Kourtney Shuler, Ohatchee 23:04.48.

Men’s Top 5:
Reed Robinson 18:15.31, Landon Delozier 18:37.06, Jacoby Dove 23:04.03, Tim Wade 23:09.79, Bryant Ginn 23:18.31.

Women’s Top 5: Lynn Mitchell 28:43.60, Amanda Williams 28:44.54, Tori Vice 31:47.09, Cheyanee Gaudreau 31:50.10, Kate Ryan 32:52.89.


ODENVILLE – Alexandria’s Abby Nunnelly led a 1-4-5 finish and six runners in the top 10 to carry the Lady Cubs to the girls race title. Oxford won the boys title.

Nunnelly ran 20:25.65 and was nearly 40 seconds ahead of Southside’s Camryn Davis at the finish. Jacksonville’s Mary Shelton was third, followed by Alexandria teammates Michaela Moore and Katie Snow.

The Lady Cubs scored 23 points. Oxford was third (79) and Jacksonville was fifth (125).

Reed Robinson and Dylan Hulsey led Oxford’s 2-4 finish in the boys race. Southside-Gadsden’s Taylor Nails won the race in 17:29.51.

The Yellow Jackets scored 65 points, seven ahead of Southside. Alexandria was sixth (133) and Jacksonville seventh (189).

At St. Clair County, Odenville

Team scores:
Alexandria 23, Southside-Gadsden 71, Oxford 79, Moody 99, Jacksonville 128, Asbury 161, Shades Valley 184.

Individual Top 10: Abby Nunnelly, Alexandria 20:25.65; Camryn Davis, Southside 21:03.94; Mary Shelton, Jacksonville 21:55.04; Michaela Moore, Alexandria 22:04.69; Katie Snow, Alexandria 22:27.54; Charlotte Phillips, Rudd Middle 22:44.00; Catie Hulsey, Alexandria 22:50.65; Michaela Watts, Alexandria 22:57.79; Sarah Kilgore, Alexandria 23:05.77; Mia Munoz, Oxford 23:16.87.

Team scores:
Oxford 65, Southside-Gadsden 72, Moody 80, Asbury 90, Boaz 127, Alexandria 133, Jacksonville 189, Shades Valley 207, St. Clair County 231.

Individual Top 10: Taylor Nails, Southside 17:29.51; Reed Robinson, Oxford 17:45.39; Jaden Vance, Moody 18:17.74; Dylan Hulsey, Oxford 18:20.25; Ryan Maudsley, Southside 18:22.36; Luis Rodriguez, Alexandria 18:25.50; Josh Pelham, Asbury 18:29.32; Guillermo Trevino, Boaz 18:33.75; Carson Jones, Boaz 18:35.45.

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