E.A. Sports Today

Young guns on the run

Pair of White Plains youth running teams win state titles, headed to national meet in Florida

Here is the White Plains youth team heading to the USATF nationals next month. (From left) USATF director Mary Birdwell, Hayes Farrell, Calep East, Cayden Nelson, Sawyer Edwards, Catcher Jenkins, Josh Lindsey, Drew Jones, coach John Moore, Ben Heath, Laralee Church, Kayson Cronan, Maddyn Conn, Riley Brown, Chloee Cromer, Malli Colgrove and USATF Alabama president Randy Yarbrough.

By East Alabama Sports Today

CULLMAN – One state championship meet appearance just isn’t enough for some people, apparently.

For the second weekend in a row, White Plains track and cross country coach John Moore took a team of athletes to state meet. Last week he took the boys and girls varsities from his school to the state high school cross country championships in Oakville.

On Saturday, he took a younger group of USATF club athletes to the state associational age-group championships and brought home a title.

The 10-year-old girls team, comprised of fifth-grade students at White Plains Middle School, and the 11-12 boys team both won their team races. Moore only put the group together a few months ago after watching the runners’ enthusiasm and success in his gym classes.

Laralee Church was the team’s fastest girl across the line in the three-kilometer race, finishing second overall in 14:49. Cayden Nelson won the boys 11-12 race. Nelson, a seventh-grader, ran with the White Plains varsity in the state meet last week.

All 14 athletes will run at the USATF Championships in Tallahassee, Fla., Dec. 9. The race will bring together the two best teams from every state in the country and feature some of the nation’s best youth runners.

“Competing in a national championship will be a memory these kids will never forget,” Moore said. “These kids are pretty remarkable – and now Junior Olympic champions.”

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