HBS cross country

Freshman Rebecca Rasbury of Horseshoe Bend advances to the state championship after placing fourth in sectionals.

The cross country season is heating up as sectionals began over the weekend to weed out the top talent in Alabama as runners advance to the state championship cross country meet. 

All three area teams that participated advanced to the state runoff in same way shape or form.

Dadeville fared well as it saw three boys make it to the next round of the Class 3A championship with Ralph Gold, Caleb Bice and Jordan Ford all finishing in the top 25 runners for 3A Section 2. Bice finished with the best time of the three Tigers, posting a 19:32:94 time for 16th place.

Horseshoe Bend had two runners of its own advance to the 2A state championship, with Rebecca Rasbury placing fourth overall with a time of 23:06:06 and Lane Costley finishing 14th with a time of 20:42:44. What makes Costley and Rasbury’s times so impressive is the fact both are just freshmen. Costley normally would not advance but with runners in front of him qualifying for team runs, it gave Costley the bump up the charts he needed to compete on Nov. 14 in Oakville.

“We will be practicing a couple times this week at the Horseshoe Bend course,” Generals coach Emily Rasbury said. “It has a lot of similarities to the state course, so we are hoping that will prepare us for Saturday.”

Benjamin Russell’s girls team placed well enough to advance to state, while three boys advanced to individuals for the Wildcats. Caden Bowen, Thomas Carver and Mark Butcher all advanced for Benjamin Russell with Bowen posting the best time at 25:02:40.

All three schools are preparing for their respective races Saturday by practicing hard throughout this week to make sure they are in peak condition to compete.

“We’ve been consistent with practice and discipline all season to get to this point,” Wildcat coach Crystal Wellborn said. “They’ve worked hard and we’ve been pushing them at practice to get to the next level. I’d like to see some of our runners place in the top 25, but it’ll be tough with stiff competition out there. Either way I’m extremely proud of our teams for working as hard as they have.”

Ryne Gallacher is a sports writer for The Outlook.