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Defending 6A Champs Grab AHSAA Spotlight – Scottsboro Peaking at Right Time as Evan Hill Leads Wildcats to Invitational Title

Central Al Scoreboard

Story by AHSAA Staff

Photos by Starnes Publications & Jackson County Sentinel

MONTGOMERY – Scottsboro High School junior Evan Hill and his teammates again served notice that the defending Class 6A state cross country champs could be running towards another title.
     Hill won the Southern Heating and Cooling Scottsboro Invitational this past Saturday and Scottsboro swept the top three spots and four of the top seven to win the team title ahead of 7A powerhouse Hoover and land in this week’s AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight.

Scottsboro junior Evan Hill

     Hill, who finished eighth individually at the AHSAA Class 6A State Championships last year, clocked 15:38.11 – his fourth straight race to run under 15:40 – to take the individual title. His winning time was 36 seconds faster than his state-meet time of 2020. Teammates Rex Green (16.:00.82) and Stephen Jones (16:01.40) in second and third, respectively. Hoover sophomore Zander Dakis was fourth in 16:06.36, as the Bucs took places No. 4-8.
     Spain Park senior Mackenzie Culpepper also ran her way into this week’s AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight.
     Culpepper clocked a personal-best 18:46.30 – the fastest girl’s time of the week – to win Class 5A-7A Division at the Dew it on the Trials 2021 at Point Mallard Park in Decatur. Homewood’s Emma Brooke Levering ran second with a 19:01.60 time, and Fort Payne’s Maddie Jackson was third clocking 19:01.00.
     Culpepper finished eighth individually at the 2020 AHSAA Class 7A State Cross Country Championships. He time at Decatur last weekend was almost a full minute faster than her 19:43.12 state-meet time last year.

Spain Park senior Mackenzie Culpepper

     Other top performances reported by


EMMA BRADFORD, SCOTTSBORO: Won theSouthern Heating and Cooling Scottsboro Invitational in 19:26.70, about 30 seconds ahead of teammate Ally Campbell (19:56.28). Hoover won the team title, and Scottsboro was second.
OLIVIA TOLE, AUBURN: The junior won the Smiths Station Panther XC Invitational with a time of 19:50.02, and Central-Phenix City’sAdley Burkes was second in 20:15.26. Auburn won the team title, and Smiths Station was second.
MALLORY BARTON, HELENA: Ran 19:53.61 to win the Helena Invitational ahead of runner-up and teammate Ashlynn Beery(19:58.06). Helena also won the team title, thanks to all five scorers finishing in the top 10. 
MADDYN CONN, WHITE PLAINS: The freshman broke the 20-minute barrier for the third time this season, clocking 19:55.78 to win theHay of a Run meet at Fairview. White Plains’ Anna Stricklin was second in 20:08.59. White Plains took the team title, and J.B. Pennington was runner-up.
ADDISON EMBRY, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Won the Class 5A-7A Division at the Dew it on the Trials 2021 at Point Mallard Park in Decatur by clocking 20:26.60. Priceville’s Elizabeth Cain was runner-up in 21:04.70.
GABBY PICENO, ONEONTA: Captured the Springville Invitational at Homestead Hollow, running 20:35.99. Guntersville senior Kenlie Nelson was second on 20:59.35. Alexandria won the team title, and Oneonta finished second.
TAYLOR KNIGHT, ASHVILLE: Clocked 20:43.60 to win the Pleasant Valley Twilight by nearly a minute over runner-up Sara Sloughfy of Jacksonville. Southside-Gadsden took three of the top 10 spots to earn the team title. Knight has won three races this season for the Bulldogs.
JAXSON BRUCE, PLAINVIEW: The seventh-grader won the Jackson/Dekalb County Meet in Pisgah with a time of 22:56. Pisgah’sNeveah Evans was second in 23:18.42. The Eagles won the team title, and Sylvania was second.
JOSCELYN KEMPER, FAITH ACADEMY:  Won Faith Academy’s Boardwalk Challenge by clocking 16:51.08 on the girls’ shortened course. UMS-Wright’s Mallory Helms was second in 16:53.97. McGill-Toolen won the team title. The girls’ field unintentionally took a wrong turn on the course and ran 2.7 miles instead of the traditional 3.1 miles in a cross country race.


WOODROW DEAN, TALLASSEE: Won his third meet of the season by clocking 15:41.38 to win the Helena Invitational. Helena’s Aspen Warren ran second in 16:12.75. Helena won the team title, and Pike Road finished second.
JACK LOWE, PELL CITY: Clocked 15:49.40 to win Class 5A-7A Division at the Dew it on the Trails 2021 at Point Mallard Park in Decatur. Florence’s Trey Hurt was runner-up in 16:02.90.
JOSEPH PERRY, UMS-WRIGHT: Ran 16:00.47 to win Faith Academy’s Boardwalk Challenge, and teammate Charles Perry was second in 16:30.60. Alma Bryant’s Joseph Jones was third in 17:22.58. UMS-Wright won the team title, and Bayshore Christian was second in the 15-team meet.
ALEX KUNTZ, ELKMONT: Ran 16:30.90 to win the Class 1A-4A Division at the Dew it on the Trails 2021 at Point Mallard Park in Decatur. Priceville’s Adam Taylor was second on 16:57.90.
DAKOTA FRANK, MUNFORD: Won the Springville Invitational at Homestead Hollow finishing in 16:57.76 to beat runner-up and teammate Ja’Leel Harris (17:18.27). Lincoln won the team title by placing five scorers in the top 11.
CAYDEN NELSON, PLEASANT VALLEY: Ran 17:02.90 to win the Pleasant Valley Twilight, beating Southside-Gadsden’s Luke Holcomb by 17 seconds. Ashville’s Joe Stevens and Wyatt Knight finished third (17:27.60) and fourth (17:45.00), respectively. Ashville won the team title with four runners finishing in the top nine.
NOAH GEORGE, OXFORD: Won the Hay of a Run in Fairview with a time of 17:09.23, beating runner-up Carson Masterson of Hatton (17:33.88) and third-place Alex England of Fairview (17:34.36). Oxford also won the team title, and St. Bernard was runner-up. 
LANDON PERDUE, LAMP: Outdueled teammate Agustin Lemuz to win the Smiths Station Panther XC Invitational, clocking 17:09.98 to edge Lemuz (17:15.40). Smiths Station won the team title and Enterprise was runner-up.
LANE GAMBLE, NORTH SAND MOUNTAIN: The senior clocked 18:45.78 to win the Jackson/Dekalb County Meet at Pisgah. Tristan Little of the host Eagles was runner-up in 18:57.89. Pisgah won the team title, and Plainview was second.

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