E.A. Sports Today

Record setter

White Plains sweeps Wildcat Fall Classic, a pseudo-preview of the county championship; Moore sets course record

White Plains’ Jake Moore hits his watch as he hits the tape to win the Wildcat Fall Classic Saturday norming. On the cover, Moore is embraced by race runnerup Christian Myles of Anniston, while teammate Kayd Hightower moves in to extend his congratulations.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Jake Moore wanted to set the Wildcat Trail course record in the season opener in August but simply had to settle for the win. Some things you just have to sacrifice when you’re running in a monsoon.

The rain held off just long enough Saturday for the White Plains junior to win another race and this time he did set his home course’s record, leading a White Plains team sweep in the Wildcat Fall Classic.

Moore’s 17:04.00 beat the course record by 18 seconds in winning the boys race ahead of Anniston’s Christian Myles, his main challenger in next week’s county championship. Myles finished in 17:33.38.

Conditions were somewhat more favorable than the last time Moore ran here. He won the season-opening Wildcat Twilight Invite in a driving rainstorm that hit while the race was in progress. It made the track sloppy, traction difficult and times slower. Saturday’s race was run in a cool mist with the rain picking up and settling in as the awards were being distributed.
“It was about the same until we got over there to the red clay road,” Moore said. “The first time when it was raining you couldn’t really get much traction going up the hill and you were slipping and sliding. This time it was dry; we put out some gravel there in case it did rain.”
The old record was 17:22.71 set by LAMP’s Brett Bonikowski in the inaugural race on the course last August. Moore didn’t exactly go out on a record-setting pace – he actually ran his slowest first mile of the year – but he picked it up in the accessible middle mile.
“I think he did what he set out to do,” White Plains coach John Moore, Jake’s dad, said. “He just runs hard.
“We watched ‘Without Limits,’ the (Steve) Prefontaine movie, the other night. Jake sees himself with that attitude of hey, give 110 percent, don’t worry about the clock, don’t worry about competitors, you just push yourself to your limit.
“Steve didn’t think he had any limits. I don’t ever put any limits on Jake. Usually when he comes by I say, ‘good job.’ I don’t tell him he’s going too fast or too slow. He’s been doing this since he’s 3 years old. He knows better about his body, his stride, his performance than I do and I’m his coach. I’m also his father and I’ve seen him do this 16 years.”

White Plains won both team titles overall with 1A-3A winner Pleasant Valley second running a strategic pace race in preparation of the anticipated battle with the Wildcats in Thursday’s county meet at PV.
The Raiders were more interested in bringing their back-line runners up to pace with their leaders and purposely lagged their top runners behind to give the others a push and create a pack. Their top seven runners finished 4 through 10 in the 1A-3A race (20 through 30 overall) 35 seconds from first to last.
The White Plains boys scored 47 overall points to PV’s 53. The WP girls scored 70 points to PV’s 90.

John Moore, the coach, understood what the Raiders were trying to get done.
“You want that pack mentality because that translates to a faster team,” he said. “Next week, that’s the prize. This is more of a training run than anything else.
“This year White Plains and Pleasant Valley is like an Alabama-Auburn game; you can’t pick who’s gonna win that. Alabama can be the best team in the world and then Auburn comes in and beats them or vice versa. It’s the same thing.
“(PV coach Brad Hood) has a great team and this year we have a great team. I just like competition, Brad loves it, too. It’s no fun winning by100 points; you kind of feel hollow. A two-point victory, man, those are the nail-biters that every coach has nightmares over, but you also have dreams about, too, depending on what side of the aisle you’re on. If you’re winning it, that’s the dream, but if you lose it, that’s your nightmare.”

Ohatchee’s Jayda Fair (21:14.95) won the girls race wire to wire ahead of Jacksonville’s Olivia King. It was the reigning sectional champion’s first win of the season.

Fair is a steady pace-setter. She find a good pace early and maintains it throughout the race, which sometimes can be a detriment. She was running out front in the August race here only to get chased down in the final 300 yards by race winner Taylor Simmons of Donoho.

In this race she set a pace that got her out front and kept her there, although she could feel the heat from behind.
“I knew I had to get in front of everybody before we got to the woods because otherwise I’d have to fight my way to the top,” she said. “Once I got to the front I just kept going. I could hear the Jacksonville girl the whole time. The third mile I thought she was right there (at her back).”
Recognizing she’s coming to the finish line of her high school running career pushes Fair to do well in every race she runs. She’s currently weighing options to attend one of six college choices through the QuestBridge matching program – Washington (Mo.), Pomona (Cal.), Penn, Brown, Yale and Tufts – where she plans to pursue a double major in psychology and nursing, but won’t be running in college.
“It just makes me think after the races are through I’m never going to run this course again,” she said. “I’m just trying to leave myself with a good memory and good feeling about it.”

Ohatchee’s Jayda Fair crosses the line as the winner of the Wildcat Fall Classic girls race.

At White Plains
Overall Team:
White Plains 47, Pleasant Valley 53, Ohatchee 109, Calera 151, Oxford 194, Sand Rock 196, Lincoln 204, Cedar Bluff 230, Alexandria 245, Hokes Bluff 276, Faith Christian 281, Glencoe 207, Donoho 327, Clay Central 340, Handley 405, Jacksonville 427.
1A-3A Team: Pleasant Valley 30, Ohatchee 55, Sand Rock 96, Cedar Bluff 113, Faith Christian 136, Glencoe 146, Donoho 155.
4A-7A Team: White Plains 23, Calera 77, Oxford 101, Lincoln 105, Alexandria 128, Hokes Bluff 148, Clay Central 180, Handley 214, Jacksonville 234.
Overall Top 15
Jake Moore, White Plains 17:04.00 (course record, old record 17:22.71, Brett Bonikowski, LAMP, August 2018)
Christian Myles, Anniston 17:33.38
Kayd Hightower, White Plains 17:36.11
J.R. Proctor, Lincoln 17:45.67
James Middlebrooks, White Plains 18:06.17
Sam Green, Hokes Bluff 18:12.84
Luke Larson, White Plains 18:21.15
Cade Galloway, Calera 18:21.15
Parker Comisac, Jacksonville 18:28.93
Noah George, Oxford 18:34.71
Carson Limbaugh, White Plains 18:40.94
Luke Fair, Ohatchee 18:51.02
Josue Alvarez, Oxford 18:54.75
Jonah Medders, Alexandria 18:59.96
Riley Gay, Calera 19:00.79
Overall Team:
White Plains 70, Pleasant Valley 79, Jacksonville 97, Alexandria 113, Glencoe 114, Ohatchee 133, Oxford 175, Sand Rock 252, Cedar Bluff 255, Donoho 308, Clay Central 328, Lincoln 333, Handley 334, Sacred Heart 337.
1A-3A Team: Pleasant Valley 35, Glencoe 60, Ohatchee 67, Sand Rock 126, Cedar Bluff 135, Donoho 157, Sacred Heart 174.
4A-7A Team: White Plains 39, Jacksonville 50, Alexandria 58, Oxford 85, Lincoln 163, Clay Central 164, Handley 166.
Overall Top 15
Jayda Fair, Ohatchee 21:14.95
Olivia King, Jacksonville 21:23.70
Katie Giles, Glencoe 21:36.59
Katie Keur, Oxford 22:12.98
Savannah Yates, White Plains 22:17.32
Sarah Sloughty, Jacksonville 22:20.92
Destiny Moncrief, Munford 22:23.78
Taylor Simmons, Donoho 22:31.23
Anna Beth Giles, Glencoe 22:35.63
Michaela Moore, Alexandria 22:46.04
Michaela Watts, Alexandria 22:48.18
Camden Wilson, White Plains 22:59.95
Adriana Sotelo, White Plains 23:03.67
Eva Bryant, Pleasant Valley 23:15.93
Emma Hood, Pleasant Valley 23:21.94

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