Photo: Glencoe’s High’s Katie Giles crosses the finish line first at the Etowah County Schools girls cross country meet on October 21 at the Vivian Maddox Sports Complex in Rainbow City. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
It was a case of the same result but different locale for the Etowah County Schools girls cross country meet on October 21 at The Vivian Maddox Sports Complex in Rainbow City.
For the second year in a row, Glencoe’s High’s Katie Giles took the individual title, while Southside won the team championship.
It was Giles’ fourth victory of the year. The junior clocked in at 21:23.9, almost 16 seconds faster than runner-up Barit Snead (21:38.4).
Helped by five runners placing in the top 10, the Lady Panthers edged Glencoe in average time by 22:40 to 23:01.3. Following Snead was Southside’s Alexis Valentine (21:56.2), Glencoe’s Sarah Ponder (22:24.7), Southside’s Mallory Rich (22:34.3), Hokes Bluff’s Elizabeth Edge (22:37.4), Southside’s Mallory Tucker (22:41.9), Southside’s Adalyn Phillips (22:59.9), Glencoe’s Allie Jo Amos (23:05.7) and Southside’s Sydney Hughes (23:08.9).
Hokes Bluff and Sardis finished third and fourth, respectively.
“The main goal for today was [getting] the winning time, so I’m happy about that, for sure,” she Giles, who missed several races this season due to a hip injury. “[Her hip] didn’t bother me at all today, so it’s getting better. It’s still nagging a little bit, but it’s a lot better than it was. I should be good for sectionals next week”
Southside cross country coach Nails explained why both the girls and boys’ programs have so many members year in and year out.
“The good thing about cross country is that everyone is constantly trying to improve. That allows you to run a lot of people who are trying to do their personal best every race. You’re competing as a team, but even more so, you’re competing against yourself every day. We can run as many kids as we want until sectionals, so if they’re willing to put in the time and dedication and working to get better, they can be on the team.”