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The annual Last Chance Twilight Invitational cross country meet was recently held at palmer Park. Hosted by James Clemens and featured numerous racks of lights sprinkled throughout the course with numerous schools participated. Photo Contributed

Sectionals And Twilight Invitational Prep Cross Country Squads For State Meet

MADISON- High school cross country programs across the state are gearing up for the AHSAA State Tournament set for Saturday, Nov. 6 in Moulton at the Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum. To get to that point in the 2021 season, local teams have been busy racing through competitions in preparations for the state meet.


The Sectionals were held at John Hunt Park in Huntsville. The host Huntsville Panthers took both boys and girls titles with James Clemens gathering the runner-up trophies in both divisions in Class 7A.

In boys, Huntsville finished one-two individually with five runners from James Clemens and one from Bob Jones among the top 15 runners and selected All-Section of the field of 78. The finishers were: 3. Luke Alverson, JC, 15:53.83, 4. Dylan Dryer, JC, 16:13.88, 7. Cole Robinson, JC, 16:18.91, 12. Brexton Hathaway, JC, 16:39.46, 13. Tyler Gohlich, JC, 16:41, 14. Ryan Bender, BJ, 16:49.63.

Team scoring at the Sectional included 1. Huntsville 27, 2. James Clemens 39, 3. Bob Jones 98, 4. Florence 122, 5. Grissom, 122, 6. Albertville 168, 7, Sparkman 211 and 8. Austin 239.

In girls, among the 70 who chose to partake in the Class 7A meet, Huntsville High took the top two individual spots followed by five from James Clemens and two from Sparkman among the top 15. Those winning their way to state included 3. Kylie Gero, JC, 19:49.62, 4. Ella Carter, JC, 20:04.24, 5. Samantha Menikheim, SP, 20:05.67, 6. Sydney Freeman, JC, 20:12.73, 9. Emma Bothern, JC, 20:46.99, 13. Isabel Jones, SP, 21:13.42 and 15. Kayla Willett, JC, 21:34.00.

Team scores included 1. Huntsville 31, 2. James Clemens 37, 3. Sparkman 96, 4. Grissom 120, 5. Florence 124, 6. Bob Jones, 164, 7. Albertville 185.

In Class 4A, Madison Academy finished fourth in team scoring by tallying 109 points in boys compared to 1. Priceville 56. Individually, of the 80 boys, top 15 finishers for the Mustangs were 5. Sam Hall, 17:38.51 and 8. Jackson Reece, 18:24.09.

The top four teams from Sectional advanced to the State Meet.


The annual nighttime race known as the Last Chance Twilight Invitational, hosted by James Clemens at Palmer Park, was again a delight for all involved. Head coach Drew Bell, his coaching staff, parents and others made for a tremendously successful event, which featured teams from all across the Tennessee Valley.

Portable light towers and lights from nearby ball fields within Palmer Park presented the athletes with the experience of running on a lit course, which for many was a new venture in cross country running. The event featured numerous food trucks and local news media coverage.

For the first time in the event history an Elementary Grade Race was held for youngsters in grades three through five.

Final team results included: Boys Gold- 1. James Clemens, 2. Father Ryan 30, 6. Sparkman 166. In Girls Gold- 1. Girls Preparatory 26, 2. James Clemens 32, 4. Sparkman 107. Boys Silver- 1. James Clemens 22, Girls Preparatory, 62. Girls Silver- 1. Girls Preparatory 26, 2. James Clemens 32, 4. Sparkman 107.

Individual results featured: Boys Gold- 3. Like Alverson, 9, James Clemens 16:33.99, 4. Brexton Hathaway, 10, James Clemens 16:40.23, 5. Tyler Gohlich, 12, James Clemens 16:45.45, 6. Cole Robinson, 10, James Clemens 16:45.47, 8. Dylan Dryer, 10, James Clemens 16:49.49, 10. John Luke Stovall, 10, James Clemens, 16:54.65. Girls Gold- 1. Kyie Gero, 9, James Clemens, 19:25.48, 5. Kayla Willett, 10, James Clemens 17:57.97, 7. Ella Carter, 8, James Clemens 20:03.51, 9. Samantha Menikheim, 10, Sparkman 20:13.07.

Boys Silver- 1. Jayden Walton, 11, James Clemens 18:04.52, 2. Matthew Holder, 12, James Clemens 18:06.99, 4. Andrew Gohlich, 9, James Clemens 18:29.48, 5. Zachary Hinkleman, 12, James Clemens 18:32.13, 10. Johnathan Ballard, 12, James Clemens 18:48.84. Girls Silver- 2. Claire Colo, 8, James Clemens 21:22.56, 6. Kayley Gilman, 10, James Clemens 22:49.94, 10. Kaitlyn Hockey, 10, James Clemens 23:30.17.

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