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The James Clemens' boys cross country prep to face the stiff competition at the AHSAA Cross Country State Championships. Photo- Drew Bell, James Clemens High

James Clemens Finishes Fourth Overall At Cross Country State Championships

Danville- The AHSAA’s 67th Cross Country State Championships were met with high winds and rain at the Oakville Indian Mounds in Danville. The inclement weather was certainly a nuisance, but did not stop the hundreds of student-athletes from across Alabama to put forth their best efforts towards a great finish on the excellent cross country course.

James Clemens had two runners finish as All-State by finishing among the top 15 in the Class 7A 5K events while two other Jets completed their races among the top 25. Sparkman showcased its talents behind Samantha Menikheim who finished No. 15 in the girls Class 7A race with a time of 19-minutes, 18.87-seconds.

For the Jets of James Clemens, both girls and boys teams finished among the top six for the second consecutive year as the boys took fifth place and the girls sixth. Combining both squads, the Jets claimed the fourth best program in the state for the second year in-a-row. The Jets were among only eight schools to qualify both squads for the State Meet.

In Girls, Auburn’s Sarah Tole set the pace by winning the Class 7A division with a time of 18:02.91 to claim the state championship. Emma Bothern, a junior from James Clemens, finished No. 12 at 19:13 and teammate Kylie Gero took 22nd place with a time of 19:40.28. They were the only Lady Jets to finish among the top 50 runners.

In boys, it was a clean sweep for Auburn High School as Maxwell Hardin took the Class 7A boy’s title with a race time of 14:46.63, which is a new course and state record. James Clemens sensation Luke Alverson, sophomore, was tenth overall and completed his trek at the State Meet at 15:54.14. He finished among the top 15 thus earning All-State honors for the second consecutive year. Dylan Dryer, also of James Clemens, finished No. 24 at 16:21.62.

The final tally of team scores were: Boys- 1. Vestavia Hills, 60, 2. Huntsville, 60 (lost in a tie-breaker system), 5. James Clemens, 135, 14. Bob Jones, 404; Girls- 1. Chelsea, 35, 6. James Clemens, 202, 13. Sparkman, 303.

In Class 3A, Madison Academy had one runner make All-State with one additional runner completing the 5K distance among the top 50. The division winner was Ethan Lemons, 12, of Vinemont with a time of 16:05.90. The Mustangs were led by Sam Hall, 11, who took ninth place at 17:26.62. Freshman Jackson Bybee was No. 50 at 19:50.37.

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Digital version of The Madison Record – Feb. 28, 2024

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