TRM girls cross country to run for state title Saturday
The T.R. Miller girls cross country team and two boys from the boys team will compete in the AHSAA state cross country championships Saturday, Nov. 9 in Oakville, at the Oakville Indian Mounds Park Course.
The girls and two boys—brothers Christian and Travis Carlson—will run at the state meet after their performances Friday the sectional meet in Mobile.
The top three teams advance to the state competition while the top six individual runners from non-state qualifying team rosters advance.
The Lady Tigers, as a team, took second place to Bayside Academy to earn the right to go to state. T.R. Miller scored 43 points to Bayside’s 38.
Karisa Nelson led the way for T.R. Miller with an overall first place finish with a time of 18:21.28. Katie Nelson took second overall with a time of 18:51.55
Allie Nelson came in sixth place overall with a time of 20:18.47 while Kelsi Lum finished in 15th place out of 49 runners with a time of 22:38.93.
Tarah Townsend ran a time of 23:27.40 for a 19th place finish while Amber Terry took 22nd with a time of 23:42.66.
Morgan Rowell ran a time of 24:23.10 for 28th overall while Breann Huff took 30th with a time of 24:59.35.
Sarah Byrd placed 32nd with a time of 25:13.67 while Shelby Evans ran a time of 26:32.47 for 37th overall. Karisa and Katie Nelson’s times earned them national silver standard.
“I was pleased with how the girls have ran so far this year,” T.R. Miller cross country coach Rob Atkinson said. “Karisa has made a big comeback this year. She had some medical problems earlier in the year, but has made a big comeback late in the year and I am pleased with what she has done so far. Katie Nelson has been super strong all year long and has done an outstanding job. Tarah Townsend and Kelsi Lum have stepped up big for us this year as seventh graders. They have run exceptionally well and we are looking for big things out of them this week at the state meet. Amber Terry is going to play a big role for us this week at the state meet.”
In the boys race, Christian Carlson finished eighth overall out of 55 runners with a time of 18:16.15. Travis Carlson took 14th overall with a time of 18:50.74.
Micah Flores’ time of 20:19.30 earned him 28th place overall while Stewart Campbell finished 42nd overall with a time of 21:47.98.
Noah Morris and Tucker McDaniel finished 43rd and 45th overall with times of 21:49.05 and 21:58/97 respectively.
Walker Harris, Nash Diercks and Gavin McNeil rounded out T.R. Miller with a 51st, 52nd and 54th place finish respectively.
Harris had a time of 22:30.09 while Diercks ran a time of 22:32.71. McNeil’s time of was 24:00.85.
“This is the youngest boys team that we have ever had,” Atkinson said. “Christian Carlson and Travis Carlson both qualified for state. Travis probably ran the best race he has ever ran for us. He ran a tremendous race for us Friday. Micah Flores finished two spots out of going to state. We have to have more boys that are running times of 18 minutes. That is kind of the magical line. If you have five kids that run 18 minutes, you can qualify for state. We have not achieved that yet, but we are going to work hard to achieve that next year.”
As for the state meet, Atkinson said the team to beat is Bayside Academy.
“Bayside has a tremendous team again,” Atkinson said. “They are led by two of their eighth graders. They are both running in the low 19s. They also have three other girls that are running 20-21 minutes. It is all going to come down to our four and five runners. Allie Nelson is going to play a huge role for us. She is going to have to run in the top-5 and she is capable of doing that. Karisa and Katie are going to do their thing and be one of the top finishers in the race. Karisa has won it all the last four years in a row and will take a run at five this year. She is going to have a tremendous effort to be Caitlyn York from American Christian. She has the fastest time in the state right now in all classifications. They come from a very strong program. We are shooting for Karisa’s goal to be at 17 minutes. That would be her all-time best and an outstanding way for her to go out on top. We want Karisa to win the individual state championship but we are more worried about the team right now. But we know her and Katie are going to do their best to help the team out. Hopefully Christian will be in the top-15 so he can get all-state.”
Last year the girls placed second at sectionals behind Bayside Academy—by one point— to earn the right to advance.
T.R. Miller totaled 39 points to Bayside Academy’s 38 points.
Last year was the fourth time in five years, the T.R. Miller Lady Tiger cross country team came away with the class 3A state runner-up trophy.
After finishing second to Bayside Academy by one point at sectionals last year in Montgomery, the Lady Tigers fell by five points to the Lady Admirals at the state meet.
Bayside Academy defeated T.R. Miller 66-71, despite Lady Tiger Karisa Nelson winning her fourth individual 3A title with a time of 18:47.42. Nelson has finished first from 2009-2012 and took second in the 2008 race as a seventh grader.
The Lady Tigers scored 103 points to place third behind state champion Montgomery Academy’s 36 points and runner-up Rogers’ 49 points in 2011, ending a three-year run at winning the runner-up trophy.
The Lady Tigers fell 18 points short to Rogers 60-42 in 2010. The year before, in 2009, the Lady Tigers lost by two points to Montgomery Academy and in 2008, came up seven points short also to Montgomery Academy.
The girls race will begin at 8:30 a.m. while the boys will run at 9:30 a.m.