Cross-country concludes season at state championship

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Four Covington County individuals ended the 2021 season at the 66th AHSAA State Cross Country Championships at Oakville Indian Mounds Park near Moulton Saturday, Nov. 6.

More than 2,000 runners in all seven classifications competed in the state championship meet.

Trinity Jennings set a new Straughn girls 5K cross country record clocking 21:16.58 for a 17th place finish in Class 4A.

“I was extremely proud of Trinity’s performance at state. Your goal is to run your fastest race, and that’s what she did. Running a personal best on a big stage like that is quite an accomplishment. She is only a 10th grader, and I feel like she will improve over the next two seasons. Her accomplishments are more remarkable when you consider she also works a part-time job during the season and offseason and is ranked first in her class,” said SHS Head Coach John Evers.

Kasey Dyess represented Opp with a final time of 20:24.62 and was 98th in Class 3A.

“Dottie Wood and I enjoyed watching the Opp cross country team cut their times this year. Several of these athletes took two to four minutes off their time from the beginning of the season. Kasey finished his senior cross country season with a new personal record,” OHS Head Coach Lance McCollough said.

Jackson Hawkins of Pleasant Home took 71st place at 19:55.76 in Class 1A-2A.

“Jackson, only a freshman, has been our leader on and off the trail for Pleasant Home cross-country this year. Jackson is a terrific young man with a strong work ethic, and it has been an honor to watch him grow in the sport. He led our team in time and PR’d (personal record) twice this year. Although we were unable to advance to State as a team, Jackson placed in Sectionals and was able to represent PHS at State in Moulton. Jackson’s time allowed him to set another PR. We are so proud of him for his accomplishments. He is the son of Jason and Carrie Hawkins,” said PHS Coach Ben Clark.

Luke Hodges of Red Level finished the race in 21:55.61 for 124th place.

“Luke is a great kid. He is very humble and works extremely hard. He has really made some big gains this season. At our first meet, he ran a 23:22 and set a personal record with a 21:50 at our last meet. That shows a tremendous amount of growth and is a testament to the work he puts in. Luke is only an eighth grader, so for him to be able to qualify for state was a huge accomplishment. We are very proud of how Luke represented himself and Red Level School,” RLS Head Coach Todd Smith said. “With continued effort and determination, Luke has a bright future in cross-country.”

Cross country will return for the 2022 season next fall.