St. Bernard Prep School hosted the first Annual Octoberfest 5K Invitational on October 17, fielding 22 teams and 208 runners. Cold, and dreary rainy weather may have hampered the open race which kicked off with only nine runners.
Longtime local runner, Duane Ricketts finished the 5K course in 19:18.42 in the open race.
St. Bernard Cross Country Coach, Jeff Taylor said for the day to be so cold and wet, we had an outstanding meet. “North Alabama is fortunate to have so many gifted athletes. Overall it went well. We learned a lot, and definitely plan to do this again.”
The 5K open course was hosted on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey’s Treasure Forest. The race started on the north side of the softball field, and traversed Boniface trail at the North property line of St. Bernard, then travelled Perimeter Road onto Seminary Trail toward Eight-Mile creek and back toward the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center. “Because of the nature of our trail, the athletes find it fun to run,” Taylor said.
The initial scholastic race of the day featured Saralyn Miller leading the Cullman Bearcat Jr. High team to a first place finish in the Girls 2-mile race with a time of 14:20.79 followed by Shayna Cooper of Arab High School, leading her team to a second place finish with a time of 14:57.98; followed by Albertville, led by Jenny Carbajal with a time of 17:06.35.
Arab’s Conner McClendon claimed the title for the JV Boys division with a time of 13:02.38, followed by teammate, Caleb Marshall (13:11.09) and Cullman’s Nick Harbin finished third with a time of 13:28.35. The team competition was won by Arab, followed by Cullman, and Albertville placed third.
The Varsity competition began with Pisgah High School winning the girls 1-3A 5K race. St. Bernard finished second and Belgreen third.
Cullman’s Kelsey Crawford blistered the 5K course in a 19:28.92, leading the way in the Girls Varsity 4-6A race. Scottsboro’s, Maggie Thompson (20:11.92) and Decatur’s, Sally Adams (21:11.10) placed second and third respectively. Scottsboro’s girls won the team competition with 27 points, followed by Cullman (44), Decatur (56), and Austin(97).
The Boys Varsity races began with Pisgah’s Corey Wheeler leading the way over the 5K course with a 19:27.11 time to take medalist honors in Class 1-3A. St. Bernard’s Will Faulk (20:24:19) and John Russell (20:26.59) finished out for second and third place finishes.
Taylor said the 4-6A completion featured several of the state’s elite runners. Lucas Sieb of Scottsboro covered the 5K course in 16:04.83 leading his team to a first place victory. Matthew Dunn of Austin High School finished second with a time of (16:54.14), and Brig Kilgore of Cullman finished third. Cullman finished second in the competition followed by Austin, Arab, Albertville, and Decatur. “This competition was outstanding. “Considering the course conditions, the times for this event were phenomenal,” continued Taylor.
Taylor wishes to thank all parents, students and sponsors for their participation in the invitational run. Taylor humbly said, “We would also like to thank the schools for their participation, The Alabama National Guard for directing traffic, the Cullman Rescue Squad, and the Cullman Track Club for their assistance. We invite everyone to return for the Bloomin’ Festival 5K Run on April 17, 2010.”