BY TIM GAYLE
Amaris Tyynismaa stole the headlines, but her Catholic teammate Isabelle Cochran was the one who supplied the victory.
Tyynismaa, the winningest girls’ cross-country runner in Alabama High School Athletic Association history, added another record to her list of accomplishments by finishing first in the Alabama All-Stars Sports Week cross country race on Wednesday morning at the Auburn University Montgomery cross country course.
Tyynismaa’s time of 19:12.50 in the second all-star 5,000-meter race was nearly a minute ahead of the inaugural time of 20:02.89 posted a year ago by McGill-Toolen’s Grace Jensen, earning the Catholic junior the most valuable player award in the event.
Still, the event wasn’t decided until the 10th-place finisher crossed the line. Behind Tyynismaa, Taylor Engram, Sarah Francis and Frieda Kickliter has crossed the line, giving the South all-star team 27 points. Five North runners had also finished to earn an identical 27 points.
The winning point would be scored by Cochran, who finished the course in 21:54.20, nearly 13 seconds ahead of the North’s Nicole Luther.
Montgomery Academy’s Isabella Rowland finished 14th in the event.
The boys’ competition wasn’t nearly as close, with the South grabbing a 41-20 victory as six runners finished behind Mountain Brook’s Hunter Harwell, who won the event with a time of 16:33.59.
The South boys, coached by Trinity’s Monica Lott, finished in positions 2-7 to easily win the event. Enterprise’s Gabriel Henneberger finished behind Harwell with a time of 16:42.32 to grab South MVP honors, followed by Silas Franklin of Smiths Station, Myles Stoots of Faith Academy, Charlie Lott of Trinity, Cory Anthony of Wetumpka and Evan Rogers of Auburn to pile up 39 points.
The top 11 finishers surpassed the 2017 winning time of 17:27.81 clocked by Hoover’s John McCrackin. The South’s sweep evened the series at 1-1 in both events.