The Arab cross country girls finished their season with a sixth-place finish at the 5A state meet Saturday morning with an average team time of 21:26.

Grace Gosline was the leading runner for the Lady Knights, finishing 17th overall at the meet at Oakville Indian Mounds Park. The Arab boys did not qualify as a team but Luke Sanders, running as an individual qualifier, finished 22nd overall.

Meanwhile in the 3A meet, also at Oakville, the Brindlee Mountain girls couldn’t duplicate their supreme effort in the sectionals and finished 15th out of 16th. The Lady Lions, by coach Evan Lemons’ own admission, performed “over their heads” at the sectional just to qualify for the state.

They couldn’t sustain that maximum effort, especially with several of the girls also starting basketball last week.

“we did OK,” Lemons said. “It wasn’t our best showing of the year but like I told the girls after the race was over, only 16 teams in 3A are still standing and we are one of them. Nothing to hang your head about.” 

Savanna Avelar led the Lady Lions and finished 66th overall. Chantzley Kirkland finished 85th and Abbey Mooneyham was 91st. Jasmine Avelar and Carrie Cooper rounded out the team’s top five. Also competing for the Lady Lions were Adriana Hernandez and Alyssa Grider.

“Five of our seven girls played in basketball games Friday night so I knew we would be a little leg dead anyway,” Lemons added. “Carrie Cooper, Savanna Avelar and Jasmine Avelar ran their last high school cross country race today. They have expressed interest into continuing their running careers if the chance was given.

“It would be awesome to go and watch them compete at the next level.”

Like Arab, Brindlee Mountain’s boys didn’t qualify as a team but two qualified individually.

“Colton Hall and Joey Goosetree also played in basketball games Friday night,” Lemons said. “Colton (133rd) had a great race and showed that he can be a force in the coming years.

“It took Joey (157th) half the season but I believe he is realizing his potential. Making the state meet as individuals as seventh and eighth graders. That’s huge at any school at any level.”

Aaron Turnage finished 42nd individually in the 5A meet.

For the Arab girls, all runners finished in the top 100. Julie Stapler (29th overall) came in behind Gosline. Next were Delaney Maze (40th), Emma Stewart (43rd), Ragan Barnes (67th), Ashley Schwarze (86th), Audrey Oberle (91st), Emma Butler (92nd) and Arubie Flatt (98th).

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