At sectional cross country meets in the state of Alabama, the top four teams and the top six individuals not on the section rosters of the four qualifying teams advance to the state meet.
The stipulation regarding individuals advancing typically comes into play with one or more of the cross country teams at Arab and Brindlee Mountain.
That’s not the case this year. At last Friday’s Section 4 meets at Scottsboro, all four local teams advanced to Saturday’s state meet at Oakville Indian Mounds.
Arab and Brindlee Mountain runners put a stamp on these sectionals, which were delayed a day because of inclement weather.
The Lady Lions placed all of its runners in the top 25 to capture the Class 3A girls sectional crown. Arab’s girls, meanwhile, placed three in the top 10 to finish second to the host team.
The Brindlee Mountain guys finished a competitive third in 3A boys and Arab advanced as a team to the state meet for the first time since 2012 with its fourth-place finish.
Arab’s Megan Schwarze won the 5A girls meet with a time of 19:19 to continue her torrid senior campaign. She now has six first-place finishes.
Teammates Emma Stewart and Grace Gosline finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
Other Arab finishers were Delaney Maze (17th), Arubie Flatt (20th), Jillian Grisham (31st), Kayleigh King (35th), Ragan Barnes (36th), Julia Scott (38th) and Ashley Schwarze (50th).
Scottsboro (33) took first place as a team. Arab (53) was second, followed by Lawrence County (60) and Randolph (67).
Chantzley Kirkland (21:29.82) finished third in the 3A girls race to lead the Lady Lions (52) to the Section 4 title. Pisgah and Colbert Heights tied for third with 72 team points, followed by Westminster Christian (83).
Abby Mooneyham finished fifth individually for the Lady Lions, followed by Savannah Avelar (10th), Dylan Barnowski (18th), Kailyn Childress (19th), Carrie Cooper (22nd) and Jasmine Avelar (24th).
Brandon Mendez finished an impressive third in the 3A boys race with a time of 17:29.44. David Costley was next at ninth, followed by Nick Grant (18th), Taylor Ward (20th), Colton Hall (27th), Jordan Hill (40th), John Paul Taymon (46th) and Alfredo Ruiz (49th).
The Lions (64) finished a close third behind Pisgah (59) but were way ahead of fourth-place East Lawrence (99). Westminster Christian won the sectional with 31 team points.
Luke Sanders was Arab’s top guy finisher, placing 13th with a time of 16:59. He was followed by Collin Golden at 17th and Mason Golden at 19th.
Other Arab runners were Bradley Parker (29th), Hunter Gronczniak (43rd), Kailer Krause (46th), Austin Smith (47th), Tyler Culpepper (53rd), Braden Pitt (59th) and Ridge Stewart (65th).
Brewer’s Connor Sims finished second individually. Team scores were Scottsboro (31), Randolph (76), Lawrence County (97) and Arab (104). The Knights edged out Guntersville (110) for the final state berth.
At the sectional, the top 10 individuals in each division received a medal. The top two teams received a plaque. Times have been set for Saturday’s state championship races. The 3A boys will go off at 8:50 a.m. while the 3A girls will start at 9:50.
The 5A boys will start at 10:30 a.m. and the 5A girls go off at 11:30 a.m.
At the state meet, the winning teams and runner-ups in each division will earn trophies, and the top 15 finishers individually will earn medals.