E.A. Sports Today

Plenty of intrigue

PV boys, White Plains girls favorites in Calhoun County XC Meet; Oxford’s George, WP’s Conn seeded No. 1

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The standings might not have the drama of the past two years, but the Calhoun County Cross Country Championships still promises plenty of intrigue Thursday as the event moves to the new C5 Course at McClellan.

The Pleasant Valley boys and White Plains girls are pegged as the team favorites in the virtual meet, but nowhere near the margins the winners had the last two years.

The White Plains girls won each of the last two titles by six points and have a 30-point edge over Alexandria in the virtual meet. Oxford won last year’s boys race in a sixth-runner tiebreaker over White Plains, and White Plains won in 2019 by one point over Pleasant Valley, but PV had a seven-point edge over Oxford in this year’s virtual meet.

Oxford has three of the top five times in the county this year, but PV probably has more depth with six best times before Oxford’s fourth and fifth best. The Raiders enhanced their position over the weekend with their annual run in which their top runners hang back to push their second wave.

The boys race has produced a different winner each of the last five years.

“No nail biters this year,” said White Plains coach John Moore, who designed the championship course. “No close calls. No ties broken by the sixth man. Everyone is spaced out. Each team has a leader sort of in front or, in some cases, a pair of leaders.

“That doesn’t mean an upset can’t happen. If your best runner is sick or injured, it could affect the team score.”

White Plains’ Maddyn Conn and Anna Strickland and Oxford’s Katie Keur are the favorites in the girls race. Conn and Strickland have been running 1-2 in their races all season.

Oxford’s Noah George and PV’s Cayden Nelson are the favorites in the boys race. They’ve both posted best times in the 16s.

“The race for first place will be fun,” PV coach Brad Hood said.

Here is the virtual meet and top 10 best times:

Team scores: Pleasant Valley 39, Oxford 46, Alexandria 75, White Plains 107, Jacksonville 127, Faith Christian 158, Donoho 194, Ohatchee 237, Piedmont 263.

Top 10 Times
Noah George, Oxford 16:14.53
Cayden Nelson, Pleasant Valley 16:40.24
Evan Somers, Oxford 17:23.52
Jonah Medders, Alexandria 17:44.33
Justin Dempsey, Oxford 17:55.18
Evan Garner, Jacksonville 17:58.47
Alec Vess, Pleasant Valley 17:59.50
Jaden Veazey, Pleasant Valley 18:14.10
Ben Wade, Alexandria 18:16.52
Braxton Williams, Pleasant Valley 18:29.31

Team scores:
White Plains 33, Alexandria 63, Jacksonville 83, Pleasant Valley 97, Oxford 107, Ohatchee 136, Saks 212.

Top 10 Times
Maddyn Conn, White Plains 19:16.79
Katie Keur, Oxford 20:07.37
Anna Strickland, White Plains 20:08.59
Michaela Moore, Alexandria 20:47.11
Sarah Sloughfy, Jacksonville 20:55.66
Michaela Watts, Alexandria 21:08.68
Emerson Maniscalco, Oxford 21:53.51
Baylie Webb, White Plains 22:04.52
Macey Roper, Pleasant Valley 22:08.80
Adriana Sotelo, White Plains 22:11.63

2020: White Plains girls, Oxford boys
2019: White Plains, White Plains
2018: Pleasant Valley, Pleasant Valley
2017: Pleasant Valley, Anniston
2016: Pleasant Valley, Pleasant Valley
2015: Alexandria, Pleasant Valley
2014: Pleasant Valley, Ohatchee

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