The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 8, 2012

Local runners brave soggy conditions at JO Classic


For The News Courier

OAKVILLE — From staff reports

More than 5,000 people braved a rainy, soggy environment at the Jesse Owens Classic in Oakville Saturday. Among them were runners from Athens, Athens Bible, Clements, Elkmont and West Limestone.

Tyler Helms was the county’s top runner in the Boys Bronze race with a 19th-place finish out of 387 runners. Helms’ time of 17:55 was just ahead of West Limestone’s Ramon Quiroz, who finished 21st with a time of 17:57.

Other runners in the top 50 of the small-school boys race were Thomas Peek (18:08) of West Limestone and Clements runners Richard Hodges (18:28) and Mack VanWagnen (18:32).

Athens finished 29th out of 51 teams running in the Boys Silver race. Andrew Sulcer was Athens’ top runner with a time of 18:42, good enough for 91st overall while Tate Carden was not far behind with a time of 18:48. Athens Bible’s Dalton Adams finished 10th with a time of 18:51 in the Boys Green race. Walt Purner finished 30th with a time of 19:39.

More than 900 runners from across the Southeast competed in the three boys races Saturday morning.

The top runner came from the Boys Elite race where Quentin McKinnish of Morristown, Tenn., had the best time at 15:56 on the 5K course.

Allison Jay was the top female runner from Limestone County with a 13th-place finish and time of (21:28) in the Girls Bronze race. West Limestone’s Reilly Hooie finished 78th with a time of 24:04. Samantha Presnell was Elkmont’s top runner with a time of 24:11, good enough for 84th out of 276 runners.

Athens Bible had five runners finish in the top 75 in the Girls Green race. Emily Watson, Emma Ulrich, Becca Harwell,  Ashley Riggins and Anna Persell helped ABS to a third-place finish. Persell had the best time at 23:44.

The Jesse Owens Classic takes place at the Oakville Indian Mounds, site of the state cross-country race, which takes place in November.