Briarwood, Calera, Pelham compete at George Roy Invitational

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CALERA – After their original meet scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, was canceled, the Calera Eagles worked with the city, school and others to turn George Roy Park into a beautiful cross country course for their own event.

The result? A day of strong competition for several local cross country runners and teams that was highlighted by Briarwood, the host Eagles and Pelham Panthers.

While all three local teams performed well in both the boys and girls races, it was the Lions who came out on top with a clean sweep winning the team title in both races.

Briarwood took the top two spots in the boys race with five total top 10 finishers and seven total top 15 finishers, while the Lions also had the second best runner in the girls race with three top 10 finishers and five top 15 finishers.

The highlight of the day went to Trent Malloy and teammate Joseph Bell. The two seniors finished first and second, respectively in the boys race with Malloy taking home the top spot behind a time of 17:27.82 and Bell earning second with a time of 17:38.19.

In addition to that, the Lions got a top 10 finishes from Brandon Dixon, Luke Thompson and Joseph Hopkins. Dixon finished fifth with a time of 18:27.90, Thompson finished seventh with a time of 18:37.87 and Hopkins finished 10th with a time of 18:49.19.

The Lions closed out a strong showing with Forth Thornton and Patrick Hnizdil finishing 12th and 13th, respectively. Thornton finished with a time of 18:57. 81, while Hnizdill finished with a time of 18:59.73.

Calera’s top two finishers in the race came just on the heels of Thornton and Hnizdil with Cade Galloway and Riley Gay finishing 14th and 15th, respectively. Galloway finished with a time of 19:00.55 and Gay finished with a time of 19:07.56.

Those two were joined by Lane Busby and Landon Earl as other top 20 finishers. Busby finished in 18th with a time of 19:42.62, while Earl finished 19th with a time of 19:45.96.

The Eagles also got top 30 finishes from Parker Rodgers (27th) and Michael Jones (29th). Rodgers finished with a time of 20:29.68 and Jones finished with a time of 20:32.70.

The consistent effort for the Eagles led to a team finish of third with 88 points, which finished just behind Briarwoods 25 and Wetumpka’s 33.

Pelham’s highest finisher was Ian Howell in 26th with a time of 20:25.62, while Briarwood’s Jackson Moore finished 28th with a time of 20:30.97.

In the girls race, Briarwood once again took the top spot in the team standings thanks to three top 10 finishes from Bela Doss, Brenner Statt and Kelly Rollins.

Doss was the highest finisher of the three, finishing second with a time of 23:08.27. Statt finished fifth with a time of 24:15.30 and Rollins finished eighth with a time of 24:51.29.

But the race belonged to Pelham’s Brooke Monti.

The Panthers’ senior finished the race almost a minute faster than Doss in second to claim the top spot with a time of 22:18.40.

Pelham’s Brooke Monti won the George Roy Invitational girls’ race after finishing almost a minute faster than second. (Reporter photo/Keith McCoy)

Pelham also got finishes inside the top 20 from Annika Galloway, Mikayla Leftwich and Emma Radford. Galloway finished 13th with a time of 25:17.57, Leftwich finished 16th with a time of 25:41.95 and Radford finished 18th with a time of 25:55.09.

The Panthers went on to finish third in the event with 73 points.

As for the Lions, Stella Bell, Anna Ferguson and Regan Morrow all finished inside the top 25 as well. Bell and Ferguson finished 14th and 15th, respectively, with Bell doing so in a time of 25:32.81 and Ferguson just behind with a time of 25:41.16.

Morrow finished 24th thanks to her time of 26:37.92.

Calera’s highest finisher in the race was Laryssa Molina-Becerra, who finished 26th with a time of 26:42.99.