Holman clocks 15:40.23 to win 11th Jesse Owens race
From The Decatur Daily
OAKVILLE — Max Holman wasn’t a Mad Max on Saturday, but you couldn’t tell he was happy about posting the fastest time among 4,000 runners, either.
The senior from Tupelo, Miss., ran the 5-kilometer distance in 15 minutes and 40.23 seconds to capture the boys gold elite title in the 11th annual Jesse Owens Cross Country Classic at the Oakville Indian Mounds and Educational Center.
“It was a little humid out there today and the course was a little muddy, but really overall I’m pleased,” said Holman. He said he had saved some energy for a “great kick” near the end of the race to win.
Holman, who said he is getting offers from Southeastern Conference and other Division I schools, might have been comparing his Saturday time with his 15:19 he ran two weeks ago at a Nike event in Louisville, Ky.
“Coming down the hill about the 2-mile mark I had to be a little careful with my footing,” Holman said about the track soaked in recent weeks by constant rain.
However, Holman looked around at the large number in the meet and said he’s impressed with the organization and staff.
“The Jesse Owens race is always very well organized,” he said. “Everything here runs on time. There’s not many meets I can say that about.”
The fastest time of an Alabama runner belonged to Cold Springs’ Nathan Lewis.
He clocked at 15:54.76, good for third place in the gold elite division.
Brewer sophomore Clay Oden finished 48th with a 17:24.68 as the area’s fastest runner in the division.
Winning the gold elite girls event was McGill-Toolen’s Carmen Carlos with an 18:04.27.
“I was just trying to run my best and get a PR (personal record time),” the freshman said after setting her PR Saturday.
Recording a 19:52.15, Brewer senior Emily Trotter finished 16th overall and No. 1 locally in the girls division.
Decatur’s Sally Adams, a senior, posted a 20:59.81 good for 54th overall and second fastest locally.
The Hatton boys turned in a stellar second-place showing in the bronze (Class 1A-4A) boys division.
Lifted by five finishers in the top 27, the defending 1A-2A state champion Hornets used strength in numbers Saturday.
“We came in hoping for a Top 4 finish today,” said Hatton coach Brandon Barringer. “I had a bunch of kids step up. We’ve got 10 new runners this year and winning second here is huge. It’s really hard to single out any one runner we had several with PRs out there.”
The fastest Hornet was senior Jade Brackin with a 17:57.20, good for 13th place. On his heels in 14th place was fellow senior Zachary O’Hare.
Sophomore Blake Brackin (18:17.23, 24th), freshman Reid Harrison (18:18.08, 26th) and junior Devin Jackson (18:19.05, 27th) contributed.
Randolph School of Huntsville won the team event. Lawrence County boys were sixth.
The top local bronze boy runner was Athens Bible senior Cliff Denton with a 17:37.43.
Lawrence County’s Freddie Shirah was 20th with a 18:08.56, a personal best for him.
Clements senior Roger Good finished 31st in the 349-runner field with a 18:36.54.
Rogers High sophomore Katie Stewart won the bronze girls (Class 1A-4A) with a 19:38.58 time. Finishing fifth in the 265-runner field was Lawrence County senior Ari Stephenson with a 21:03.37.
“My practices seem to go better than my races lately,” Stephenson said. “I’ll continue to work to improve. State is back here next month and we’ve got work to do as a team. Rogers is going to be tough to beat.”
Clements freshman Allison Jay was ninth in the division with a 21:14.10.
Rogers won the team event. Lawrence County was seventh, Athens Bible 10th.
Lawrence County cross country coach Stanley Johnson said he was proud of his teams but want to see better results.
“Several of our kids ran PRs today, so I can’t be really disappointed, but I know we’re capable to doing better,” said Johnson, who also served as the tournament director. “We’ve got a month to prepare for state.”
No meet record times were set Saturday.
“The course is a little soft in places because of the rain we’ve had,” Johnson said. “I feel blessed it is not worse than it is.”
The Oakville track is the venue of this year’s Alabama High School Athletic Association’s state championships. It is set for Nov. 14.
The Jesse Owens Runners Club hosted Saturday’s event.
Complete results can be found at cfpitiming.com.