The Randolph cross country programs traveled one last time for the regular season to the Oakville Indian Mounds Park in Oakville, AL for the “Jesse Owens Cross Country Classic”. The next time the Raiders will compete at this venue will be November 11th for the 2017 AHSAA State Cross Country Championships. Fun fact (if you didn’t already know), the name sake of the event is in honor of the great Olympic champion sprinter and jumper, Jesse Owens who was born in 1913, just a half mile from the Oakville Indian Mounds Park. View photo slideshow in Vidigami – (Photos contributed by F. Hutchens & Xing)
The meet is pretty epic itself. With an annual average of 6,000 entries every year at this event, it is one of the largest meets in the south east with teams coming from all over the south to compete one of the fastest and most beautiful courses in the sport. This year’s meet saw teams from Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi.
The event was organized like this; 1A-3A size schools were allowed to enter the “Green Division” with no entry limits, the “4A-5A” size schools were allowed to enter the “Bronze Division with no entry limits. The “6A-7A” size schools were in the “Silver Division” with entry limits of max of 10. There was a “B-Team” division called the “Red Division” that allowed any division that had limitations to put their athletes in that division. And then finally, the “Gold Division”. The “Gold Division” was for the best of the best. That division never disappoints.
MAJOR HIGHLIGHT: Randolph Boys 5k School Record Goes Down!
Our teams competed in the Boys “Bronze”, the Girls “Bronze”, and the Boys “Gold” divisions.
The boys started our day with a race start time of 8:45 am. The weather was cloudy and very humid for an early October race. The boys were shorthanded with Matthew Estopinal competing in the “Gold division” and Kohl Kraus who was out handling family matters in Iowa. The boys feeling a bit of grogginess from the fall break, didn’t have the best day as they finished a disappointing 14th overall, and had to watch as 4A rivals Catholic Montgomery take the team win, followed by Trinity Presbyterian finish a close second, and defending 4A state champions from 2016, LAMP (Loveless) finish in 4th. The Raiders were led by sophomore Lee Thomas, who finished 52nd overall in 18:10 for the 5k distance. Fellow sophomore Jack Schamban improved his season best to 18:25 in 61st place. Eighth grader Eric Xing finished in 18:37 and 68th place. Junior Will Kessler finished in 20:04 with 149th place and sophomore Max Pitsinos rounded out team scoring 157th place in 20:10. Senior Esper Chao with the 6th place displacer in 20:24 in 178th place overall. Freshman Alex Covert was the 7th place displacer in 21:18 in 235th place.
Middle school members Jackson Howse, Felipe Marples Rodriguez and Shrevas Puducheri finished 251st, 261st and 269th place overall in 21:28, 21:51 and 21:59 respectively. Junior Nicholas Hammond and 8th grader Ben Pollock finished in 334th and 336th place, 23:26 and 23:31 respectively. Freshman Evan Devine and Adin Rossi finished in 367th and 376th overall in 24:31 and 25:02 respectively. Finally, middle school members Wesley Hodge and David Young finished 393rd and 397th overall in 26:15 and 26:56 respectively.
The boys team scored 460 points and averaged 19:05 for the top 5 scoring members.
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Our second race of the day was the girls “Bronze division” at 10:30 am. The girls didn’t seem to as dazed from the long break and were able to capitalize on mistakes made by their boy teammates from earlier in the morning. The girls were also shorthanded with Senior Zoe Evans out with illness and Nisha Mailapur out with family on Fall break. The girls seemed to really focus on their closest 4A rival, West Limestone and were determined to have a good showing. The best team in the 4A land, Catholic Montgomery girls, raced in the “Gold division” as a full team and definitely improved their marks as a result. The Raiders were led by Freshman Emma Hudson, Senior Katherine Hunter, and new comer 7th grader Sarah Kate Mitchell finishing in 21:15 and 13th place overall, 21:23 and 16th place overall, and 21:30 and 21st place overall respectively. Junior Sara Hutchens finished 68th overall in 23:03, followed closely by 7th grader Claire Deaton in 23:15 and 78th place overall to round out the top 5 scoring members. Senior Caroline Stucky was the 6th place displacer in 135th place overall in 24:43 with Freshman Faline Zhao in 25:17 and 157th place overall in the final displacing team spot. Middle School members Grace Stucky and Sydney Clary raced together in 25:34 and 25:37 in 168th place and 171st overall respectively. Eighth grader, Corrina Mathews gets under the 27 minute mark at 26:57 and 203rd place. Junior Brooke Harmon and 7th grader Grace Molloy finished in 259th place and 266th place overall in 30:21 and 30:58 respectively. Seventh grader Audrey Johnson was the team’s final finisher with a 287th place and 35:36 time overall.
The girls team scored 169points and averaged 22:05 for the top 5 scoring members.
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Our final race of the day only saw one Randolph participant, but it was quite a show that one participant put on! Senior Matthew Estopinal toed the “Gold” division start line with visions of accomplishing some big goals. One of which was the overall school record for the 5k distance in cross country, along with taking down some big competition and making a name for himself in this sport. The school record was held by Eshan King (2014) which was 16:11.47 which was set at the Scottsboro Invite on September 2013.
Matthew held strong through the first mile and a half, hanging with the front pack with Homewood phenome Will Stone and Vestavia Hills standout James Sweeney, in a pack of about 10-12 very talented boys. The first mile was quick, in 4:52! Matthew faded into the second pack by the second mile, in about 10:00 for mile 2 split. With that quick early mile, the pace started to weigh on him and he faded into eighth place with about 400 meters to go. Matthew finished strong but was out kicked by 4A rival Charlie Lott from Trinity Presbyterian. Charlie finished in eighth in 16:02 and Matthew finished in a new school record 16:06.26! Will Stone won the race with a 15:22!
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4A GIRLS RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 BASED ON BEST SEASON 5K TIME RUN
1. CATHOLIC-MONT. 66
2. RANDOLPH 92
3. SAINT JAMES 160
4. WEST LIMESTONE 164
*Notes on rankings: Catholic-Montgomery girls increase their lead on the Raiders after their strong performances at Jesse Owens “Gold Division” performances.
4A BOYS RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 BASED ON BEST SEASON 5K TIME RUN
1. TRINITY PRESB. 100
2. NORTHSIDE 128
3. CATHOLIC-MONTGOMERY 135
4. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 166
5. ANNISTON 196
6. RANDOLPH 205
7. LAMP (LOVELESS) 208
*Notes on rankings: Randolph falls 3 spots because of the improvement in times the past weekend for other teams. Westminster Christian Academy, a Section 4 rival has also passed the Raiders. It’s gut check time for the Randolph boys!
The Raiders are in action again next Tuesday, October 17th at the newly acquired Becky Pierce Golf Course (next to John Hunt Park) for the Huntsville Metro Cross Country Championships.
JH Boys 2 mi (7-9)………………… 3:00 pm
JH Girls 2 mi (7-9)………………….3:30 pm
Varsity Boys 5K……………………..4:00 pm
Varsity Girls 5K…..…………………4:30 pm
Awards to follow…………………..5:15 pm