68th AHSAA Cross County Championship meet set for Today

MONTGOMERY - Can Cold Springs High School senior Ethan Edgeworth set a new AHSAA cross country state meet record?    That's one storyline to consider ahead of Saturday's AHSAA Cross Country Championships, set for today at Oakville Indian Mounds Park near Moulton. Admission is $12, plus GoFan fees, and can be purchased online.    Edgeworth clocked a personal-record 14:39.34 at the Jesse Owens Classic on the Oakville course earlier this season, and that's faster than the state-meet record 14:46.63 delivered last year by Auburn's Maxwell Hardin.    Edgeworth has broken the 15-minute barrier four times this season, and he's won the last three Class 1A-2A individual cross-country titles. He can cap his AHSAA career in style by setting a new state-meet record.    The Class 6A girls race' - the first of 12 championship races - begins at 8:30 a.m., and the final one will be Class 3A boys at 12:10 p.m.    Here's a look at other compelling storylines to follow during today's championship meet:

    Dynasty talk: Auburn High School won five straight Class 7A girls' team titles from 2017-2021, only to finish runner-up to Chelsea last season. The Tigers swept the top four spots in the 7A, Section 2 meet, serving notice that the Tigers may be peaking at the right time.

    Several other programs will try to keep championship streaks alive. Mountain Brook's girls are chasing a third straight Class 6A title, and Lawrence County's girls are chasing a fourth straight Class 5A title. The Providence Christian girls have won three team titles in a row, winning Class 3A in 2020 and 2021 and taking home the Blue Map in Class 4A last season.    Providence Christian's boys won Class 3A in 2021 and Class 4A last season, while Bayshore Christian won the boys Class 1A-2A title in 2021 and took top honors in Class 3A last season.

    Who will repeat?: Edgeworth isn't the only reigning individual champ racing Saturday.   On the girls side, Auburn's Sarah Tole in 7A and White Plains' Maddyn Conn in 4A won individual titles last year, while UMS-Wright's Charles Perry (6A) and Munford's Dakota Frank (4A) are trying to go back-to-back on the boys' side.    Another tiebreaker?: Vestavia Hills won the Class 7A boys' title last year in a tiebreaker, as the Rebels and Huntsville High when both teams scored 60 points. For Huntsville, that ended a streak of four straight Class 7A boys' titles.    Can Huntsville return to the top of the team podium? Huntsville runners Eric Moore, Charles Pearson and Jack Gruber have three of the top 20 times this season.    Will weather be a factor?: The weather forecast calls for cloudy skies and cool temperatures with a high in the mid-60s, a day after rain is expected to fall on the course. The combination of cool temps, cloudy weather and rain to dampen the dust could create near-optimal conditions for runners to deliver fast times on the Oakville course.    A year ago, heavy rain drenched the course on race day, forcing runners to endure muddy conditions. Hardin sloshed through a muddy track to set the state-meet record.    Sight-seeing: The Jesse Owens Memorial Park, located less than two miles from the Oakville Indian Mounds Park, features a museum dedicated to the man who captured four gold medals in track and field at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Owens, born into a sharecropping family in Lawrence County and the youngest of 10 children, lived in Oakville until he was nine, when his family moved to Ohio. The park and museum opened in 1996.    Schedule: Here's a look at today's race schedule, with start times for each classification and awards ceremonies:

  • Class 6A girls, 8:30 a.m.
  • Class 1A-2A boys, 8:50 a.m.
  • Class 5A girls, 9:10 a.m.
  • Class 6A boys, 9:30 a.m.
  • Class 1A-2A girls, 9:50 a.m.
  • Class 5A boys, 10:10 AM
  • Class 6A awards, 10:15 a.m.
  • Class 7A girls, 10:30 a.m.
  • Class 1A-2A awards, 10:45 a.m.
  • Class 4A boys, 10:50 a.m.
  • Class 3A girls, 11:10 a.m.
  • Class 5A awards, 11:15 a.m.
  • Class 7A boys, 11:35 a.m.
  • Class 4A girls, 11:50 a.m.
  • Class 3A boys, 12:10 p.m.
  • Awards for Class 3A, Class 4A and Class 7A, 12:50 a.m.