Myrtle takes first in three categories at state meet

Myrtle girls are the Class 1A State Cross Country Champions for 2013. Kneeling left: Megan Lowery, Caroline Greer, Ellie Fitts, Stephanie Floyd and Madison Gray. Standing left: Samantha Shettles, Ivory Montgomery, Geniesha Montgomery, Rachel Peeler, Hailey Brown and Kitana High. Back: Coach Chris Greer.

Myrtle girls are the Class 1A State Cross Country Champions for 2013. Kneeling left: Megan Lowery, Caroline Greer, Ellie Fitts, Stephanie Floyd and Madison Gray. Standing left: Samantha Shettles, Ivory Montgomery, Geniesha Montgomery, Rachel Peeler, Hailey Brown and Kitana High. Back: Coach Chris Greer.

By Dennis Clayton
Coach Chris Greer’s Myrtle runners enjoyed a highly successful day on Saturday at the MHSAA State Cross Country Championships as they brought home a total of three 1A titles in girls team, girls individual and boys individual. Myrtle took the girls team title with 28 points as they had five runners in the top 13 finishers. The Lady Hawks actually had three of the top four finishers.
Kitana High led the Lady Hawks team as she took the 1A girls title for the second year in a row with a time of 16:16.70. Savannah Shirley of West Union finished second for a second consecutive year after winning the title in 2011. Shirley had a time of 16:46.90. Geniesha Montgomery (17:03.70) and Megan Lowey (17:09.200 took third and fourth places as Union County dominated the top 13 spots, placing seven runners. Sydney Roberts of Ingomar (17:31.30) placed eighth. Stephanie Floyd (17:37.20) finished 11th and Ellie Fitts (17:42.40) finished 13th. Caroline Greer of Myrtle (17:54.30) and Samantha Shettles also of Myrtle (18:32.40) finished 18th and 24th respectively.
Myrtle took first in the 1A girls team competition with 28 points, besting second place Hickory Flat (69 points) and TCPS (70 points) which finished third. Ingomar girls came in eighth with 248 points.
Marquez Howell took first place in the 1A boys 5,000 meters with a time of 17:05.00. Tyler Warren of Ingomar finished third for the second year in a row with a time of 17:52.80. Hunter Jennings placed 10th with a 18:37.10 time. Noah Bryant of Ingomar was the final top 25 finisher from Union County as he placed 22nd with a time of 19:16.40.
Ingomar placed fifth in the 1A boys team competition with 161 points, closely followed by Myrtle with 170 points for sixth place. West Union placed ninth with 215 points.
East Union boys were the defending champions in 2A, but they were edged out by J.Z. George by a 39-to-49-point margin. George placed four runners in the top eight and the Urchins just couldn’t overcome that, even though the Urchins had five runners placing in the top 16 and seven runners in the top 24.
Jordan Salmon led East Union with his second-place finish time of 17:57.50. Zach Rowan (18:23.80) placed sixth for the Urchins. Other top runners for East Union included Joey Pace (18:36.10) in 11th place, Zac Cisowski (18:40.80) finished 14th and Hunter Nobles (18:47.00) placed 16th. Other top 25 finishers for the Urchins were Zane Wilkinson (19:11.30) in 22nd place and Brett Rakestraw (19:32.30) finished 24th.
The East Union Lady Urchins finished in a group by all practical purposes as six Lady Urchins placed between 15th and 25th. Beth Skelley led East Union with her 15th place finish time of 18:31.40. The other finishers of the tightly packed East union team were Jessica Bishop (18:35.10) in 17th, Maggie Meinz (18:36.00) in 18th, Hannah Courtney (18:41.50) in 19th, Karmon Skelley (18:56.50 placed 22nd and Ally Cisowski (19:12.40) placed 25th.
East Union finished in third place in the girls 2A team totals as they were edged for second by Madison St. Joe by five points, 86 to 91. New Site took the girls 2A title with 36 points.
New Albany girls finished 11th in the 4A girls team with 277 points. Top runner for the Lady Bulldogs was Maria Favela (18:19.90) in 39th place.
New Albany boys finished 24th in 4A boys team with 598 points. Their top runner was Jose Riveria (18:30.60) for 24th place.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.