After a stellar cross country season last fall, four local standouts and one local coach have been chosen among the state’s best.

Auburn High’s Stewart Brown, Mark Foster and Elizabeth Nist and Smiths Station’s Jaxon Prins have been selected to the fourth annual AHSAA North-South All-Star Cross Country race at Auburn University-Montgomery on Wednesday, July 15. Additionally, Smiths Station coach Ron Peters has been selected as an administrative coach for the South’s boys and girls teams.

Brown was the top local male finisher in the Class 7A state meet on Nov. 8 in Oakville thanks to a 12th-place finish with a time of 16:02.36. Foster took 20th, and Prins finished 98th in a race with 182 competitors.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for me and my team. I’ve worked real hard over the years trying to prepare for this,” Prins said. “I’m very honored that Coach selected me to represent our school in the race.”

Nist, meanwhile, took 17th in the 7A girls race with a time of 19:19.22.

“It’s a very rewarding opportunity, and I’m very excited to compete against some of the best in the state,” Nist said. “This past cross country season was probably one of the most exciting ones yet. Just being able to win state and have that close competition in the state and just having our hard work pay off was rewarding. It was something I’ll cherish for years to come.”

For Peters, who has been the head coach at Smiths Station since 2007, the summer exhibition race serves as a useful tune-up for the top runners in Alabama prior to the upcoming season.

“It’s always an honor to be chosen by colleagues. The AHSAA board and the coaches committee that we’re on established this as a great tool for cross country runners,” Peters said. “For us to get the top seniors together and have a little race/test in the early season is a good opportunity for kids to get together and kind of see what is going on before the season starts. I’m looking forward to a successful meet this July.”

The South girls won last year’s race 19-36 and now own a 2-1 edge in the North-South series. The North boys upped their lead to 2-1 with a one-point 27-28 win over the South last year.

The rosters for the race are as follows:

North Boys

Parker Balzli, Mountain Brook

Walker Cole, Oak Mountain

Aaron Himes, Hewitt-Trussville

Walker Huddleston, Cullman

Nathan Knox, Hewitt-Trussville

Jairo Lopez-Hernandez, Hatton

Owen Marquardt, Hoover

Collin Mayfield, Geraldine

Jake Moore, White Plains

David Rubolin, Florence

Coaches

John Moore, White Plains

Michael McGovern, Mountain Brook — Admin.

South Boys

Stewart Brown, Auburn High

Edward Cowles, St. Michael Catholic

Mark Foster, Auburn High

Hollis Johnson, Jr., Montgomery Catholic

Sam Leslie, Montgomery Catholic

Jaxon Prins, Smiths Station

John Michael Romanos, St. Paul’s Episcopal

Harrison Skala, Montgomery Catholic

Gunnar Smith, Houston Academy

Connor Stoots, Faith Academy

Coaches

Cliff Carter, Providence Christian

Ron Peters, Smiths Station

North Girls

Merritt Edwards, Altamont

Hannah Thuss, Bob Jones

Bernarda Tizapa-Robles, Cullman

Mary Claire Ridgeway, Florence

Amelia Brady, Hewitt-Trussville

Camilla Chambers, Holly Pond

Lauren Wallace, Hoover

Elizabeth Robertson, Mountain Brook

Beth Ann Tucker, Springville

Yarahy Marcelino, West Morgan

Coaches

Sandra Lynch, Florence

Michael McGovern, Mountain Brook

South Girls

Elizabeth Nist, Auburn High

Baileigh Davis, Baker

Natalie Warner, Enterprise

Bailey Lansdown, Faith Academy

Olivia Blackmon, T.R. Miller

Grace Crim, Providence Christian

Presley Miles, Saint James

CeCe Carl, Spanish Fort

Mary Elizabeth Hill, Trinity Presbyterian

Brenda Ellis, UMS-Wright

Coaches

Hollis Johnson, Montgomery Catholic

Ron Peters, Smiths Station — Admin

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