Academy has fresh finish in Mobile

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
Two unlikely heroes arose for the Escambia Academy cross-country team in Mobile last week. Freshman runners Andrea Nall and Seth Lassiter left Mobile as winners of the AISA State Cross Country Championships.
The event was a three-mile run and was held at Municipal Park on October 27.
Coach Joel Lambert was proud of his young runners.
"A lot of ninth graders choke in big situations, but Andrea and Seth stepped it up when they needed to," Lambert said.
Lassiter said when he crossed the finish line he could not believe what had happened.
"I couldn't have done it without Alan (Ash). He battled with all the other runners so I could pass them later," he said. "I would also like to recognize God because He was the reason I could accomplish what I did."
Lassiter's win and a third place finish by Ash, also a freshman, helped the Class 2A Cougars finish third in the team competition. Mobile Christian Academy, a large 3A school, won the event.
Matt Ash helped the team, finishing in 12th place, and Chase Amerson came in right behind him in 13th.
"This is Chase's first year and he surprised me with how well he ran," Lambert said.
Rounding out the boy's team was Wade Matthews in 29th place and sixth-grader John Everette in 40th.
"Everette sacrificed a lot for the team," Lambert said. "He could have run in the middle school section of the race, but he chose to run high school to help our team score higher."
Lassiter and Alan Ash were named to the Varsity All-State team.
Nall won the title despite a shin injury suffered earlier in the week.
"I was nervous because my shin was hurting before the meet, but I didn't feel any pain while I was running," she said. "The pain came back as I crossed the finish line, but it was still amazing."
Steve Shoenwald, Nall's private coach, said he was proud of her.
"She is focused and determined and she followed the race plan we set up," he said. "This is a good starting point for her and I love her attitude."
Shoenwald added that Nall got a head start on the race in the summer. She attended Shoenwald's nine-week YMCA Distance Running Camp in Mobile. He said he believes the competitive fire at the camp leads to success in other avenues.
"When you train with people of your ability and above you feed off each other," Shoenwald said. "I run a structured atmosphere on how to prepare physically as well as mentally."
The girls' team did not place because they did not have the five runners necessary for placement in the team competition. Nall did receive help from Kristen Matthews and Taylor Hubbard, both in middle school.
Nall was named to the Varsity All-State team and Matthews to the middle school All-State team.
"We had a small crew, but they were a dedicated bunch," Lambert said.

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