Photo: Glencoe High’s Katie Giles crosses the finish line at the Class 3A Section 3 girls meet on Thursday, October 28 at White Plains. Giles finished first out of 70 runners. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
To paraphrase Glencoe cross country coach Christina Arthur, it was a great day to be a Yellow Jacket last Thursday (Oct. 28).
At the Class 3A Section 3 meet at White Plains, the Glencoe girls won their first-ever cross country sectional title, edging J.B. Pennington, 46 to 47 in points and 22:49.41 to 22:55.56 in average time.
In addition, the GHS boys qualified as a team for the first time in program history, placing fourth behind Pleasant Valley Holly Pond and J.B. Pennington. Both Glencoe teams qualified for the AHSAA state meet on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Indian Mounds Park in Oakville,
The Hokes Bluff boys and girls placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
For the Lady Yellow Jackets, Katie Giles won her second straight sectional championship with a time of 21:11.90. Sarah Ponder finished sixth at 22:15.98, followed by Allie Jo Amos in 11th place at 23:15.92, Chole Douglas in 14th at 23:31.48 and Jaxson Sizemore in 17th at 23:51.73.
For Hokes Bluff, Elizabeth Edge came in 12th place at 23:26.96, followed by Keira Johnson in 22nd place at 24:23.72, Katie Marsh in 23rd place at 24:25.91 and Ella Kate Shields in 24th place at 24:27.74 23.
Giles had to overcome both rainy conditions and a fall in the mud around the two-mile mark to earn her fifth win of the season.
“It started to pour right after I passed the first mile marker, and it kept raining for the next mile, which was when I fell.”
Giles said that runner-up Jaxon Bruce of Plainview almost passed her while Giles was regaining her form.
“She was right on my tail and got really close while we were going up the hill right after the place where I fell, but I opened it up when I got to the top. It was a fun race.”
Giles, who bettered her time from the Fall Harvest 5K by three seconds on the same course two weeks ago, was especially happy that she was a part of the program’s first-ever section title.
“I’m proud of our team and for the boys’ team. It was a great day for all of us, for sure. This wasn’t the time I wanted but ‘m ready for state. I really like that course, and I always do pretty well there. There’s several girls ahead of me [in the Class 3A rankings] right now, but I’ll just try to put myself right at the start like I normally do and see how things go from there.”
In the boys’ 5K, Conner Cothran finished 15th at 19:35.87, while teammate Cason Arther came in 23rd at 20:35.90. Earning wildcard berths for the state meet for Hokes Bluff were Brer Morrison in ninth place at 18:59.11 and Mason Miller in 13th place at 19:19.97.
Edge and Johnson earned wildcards for the girls state meet.
“We gave all the girls times we wanted them to make, and they all hit their marks against some awesome competition,” said Arther. “We’re so proud of them and the boys. Katie just did what she knows how to do. To overcome that slip shows just how mentally tough she is.”