Cross-country claims runner-up state finishes
Nov. 14, 2020 — The Mountain Brook High School cross-country teams claimed a pair of runner-up finishes at the Class 6A state meet on Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds Park.
The Spartan girls tallied 68 points behind a first-place finish from Elizabeth Robertson, while the boys totaled 73 points behind a ninth-place showing from Clayton Collins. Homewood's girls and Scottsboro's boys prevailed in their respective races.
“It’s a crazy rollercoaster of emotions,” Mountain Brook head coach Michael McGovern said. “We had high expectations on the girls' side and came up a little short today, but then the guys truly exceeded our expectations."
Robertson, a senior, made a decisive move near the 2-mile mark to pull away from her nearest challenger. She crossed the finish line well ahead of the pack in a personal-best 18 minutes, 43.15 seconds to clinch the title.
Robertson, who has run since she was a seventh-grader at Mountain Brook Junior High, is Mountain Brook’s first female state cross-country champion since Anna Grace Morgan took the crown in 2016.
“It feels great,” Robertson said. “It’s been something I’ve been working toward for five and a half years now, so it’s really nice to see all the hard work pay off.”
Robertson was one of four Spartans to place in the top 20. Clark Stewart joined her as an All-State honoree by finishing in the top 15, taking eighth in 19:32.78. Reagan Riley finished 18th in 20:16.64, and Kennedy Hamilton finished 20th in 20:18.35.
Lucy Benton (21st, 20:20.13), Hunter Anderson (23rd, 20:26.25), Gracie Walker (34th, 20:54.93), Holland Finch (35th, 20:55.74), Anne Lichty (64th, 21:54.36), and Kate Barlow (78th, 22:15.12) rounded out Mountain Brook’s participating athletes.
Catherine Corley served as the first alternate on a team that will return nine of its top 10 runners next season.
“Second place in the state is nothing to sneeze at,” McGovern said. “It’s certainly a great accomplishment, and Homewood’s a great team.”
Collins, a sophomore, clocked a personal-best to place ninth in 16:37.43. He was joined on the All-State team by John Roberts, who took 10th in 16:52.98, and Davis Plowden, who took 15th in 16:56.65. Bibb Albright also placed in the top 20 by finishing 19th in 17:07.65.
Harry Clark (25th, 17:16.49), Hagen Livingston (29th, 17:22.63), Charles Vaughan (38th, 17:33.62), George Pelekis (55th, 17:47.29), Walton Redden (65th, 17:58.52), and Davis Lee (105th, 18:41.89) rounded out the Spartans’ participating athletes.
Nicholas Miller served as the first alternate on a team that will return eight of its top 10 runners next season.
“These guys have really bought into hard work paying off and they have bought into a team-first atmosphere," McGovern said. "I think they realize that a blue map is definitely a potential for the future.”