XC Hosts Friendly First Chance 2.1 Mile Race

Photo Credit: S. Wilhelm

The Bob Jones Cross Country team hosted the first annual Friendly First Chance 2.1 mile race this past Saturday. Teams from around North Alabama gathered at the BJHS campus to race this grass, gravel, pavement, concrete, turf, and rubberized track course. This season-opening race gave athletes the opportunity to experience all types of surfaces they will race on this season. Over sixty parents as well as Bob Jones Track Coaches Jefferson, and Weaver joined Coach McIlwain and his staff before sunrise to ensure this first-ever race was a success. They succeeded! We received numerous positive comments from visiting coaches, parents and athletes. The event was truly “Friendly” and fun for all involved. This race gave teams a chance to take care of those new runner jitters and tune up their veteran runners in a friendly competition on the BJHS Campus on the opening weekend of the Cross Country season. There were 18 team trophies presented, medals for all elite runners, and Top 20 t-shirts for all runners finishing 20th or better in their division.

THANK YOU Fleet Feet Madison for providing Top 20 T-shirts free of charge!

All Bob Jones teams had great runs, adding two trophies to the XC collection and numerous athletes bringing home individual medals and Top 20 t-shirts. We had several athletes running in their first race ever who collected medals and shirts, and perhaps more importantly all of our athletes have that first race behind them and will only be getting faster as the season goes on.

The Varsity boys team finished fourth, with Sr. Ryan Bender winning the overall race by over a hundred meters with an incredible time of just 9:51.47. Jr. Isaac Allen finished 7th, Sr. Adam Baer 18th, with Wade Bucy, and Sam Pope rounding out the scoring.

The Varsity Girls finished 6th overall and 4th in the large school category amongst some of the strongest teams in the state. Molly Halter, Charlotte Droege, Lucy Halter, Maddie McInvale, and Elaine Bao had point scoring runs for the team.

The JV Boys’ team had a great day bringing home the 2nd Place trophy! Caleb Johnson won the overall race in a sprint to the finish line with Huntsville’s fastest JV runner. Luke Allen finished 8th, Jake Bryan 10th, Eric Joy 12th, with Jacob Uchitel rounding out the scoring. Oscar Nichols, and Conrado Jocson were close behind in the displacing positions. (In XC the top team’s top five finishers score points, and while the 6 and 7th place runners do not score team points, their places push opponents further down in the scoring.)

The JV Girls’ team had a great race day as well bringing home the 3rd place trophy with only six runners present! Ami Marks led the team with a strong 3rd place finish, Abigail Bennett finished 19th, with Ilene Pour-Biazar, Bonnie Halter, and Aubrey Spindle rounding out the scoring. Alexa Skelley assured the 3rd place trophy by finishing in the displacing position.

Next week the team heads to Scottsboro, AL to race in the Black and Gold Classic where JV will run the 2.1 mile course and Varsity will run a 5k course.