Providence Christian celebrates team and individual state champions

Local Sports

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Providence Christian School celebrated its latest state champions Friday morning.

Both the boys and girls cross country teams brought state titles home to the Wiregrass and two individuals claimed their own championships.

The Eagles honored their boys and girls cross country teams for winning their respective Class 3A state championships.

“This is a sport that is not one of your major revenue sports,” Head Coach Cliff Carter said. “It’s a team that practices in the woods behind the school every day so they don’t really get seen. This was a great opportunity for them to be recognized for their accomplishments.”

The girls team brought home the title for the second year in a row.

Coach Carter says the girls weren’t favored going into the competition which made for a stressful week ahead of the championship.

“There was a little bit of emotional relief once the girls finished,” Carter said. “It was just a great great performance. They really improved on the day of and then to follow it up with the boys state title was just was so much fun to be a part of.”

The boys team was ranked first in 3A by Alabama Mile Split all season long and Coach Carter is proud of how the team was able to carry that ranking all the way through.

This year’s boys championship was the first ever for a Wiregrass team.

“It was kind of like we built off of last year,” senior Connor Patterson said. “I think this year we all kind of went in with the focus and the idea that this is something we really can achieve and so we all worked hard for it.”

Connor Patterson went back-to-back winning the boys individual title for the second year in a row. This season with a time of 16:04.

“I made sure I focused on doing my part for our team to win the state championship and everybody else did their parts,” Patterson said.

Millie Talmadge, a freshman, won the girls individual title with a time of 19:08. Her individual victory is another first for the Wiregrass.

“I thought maybe I could have a chance of maybe top three, but I wasn’t really expecting to win, so to be able to prove that to myself it’s just really satisfying,” Talmadge said.

Two other girls, Madelyn Patterson and Hannah Jacobs, also finished in the top five at state.

Providence Christian’s victories mark only the sixth time in the last 100 years that a single school has won championships in both team and individual events in the same year.

Now that the Eagles know what state championships are like they’re working to win big again.

“I really do think this is the start of a very successful cross country and even track program at Providence,” Patterson said.

“We have the talent so we are definitely going to try to compete for more state championships, but ultimately that’s not the goal,” Talmadge said. “It’s to give the best you have and use the talents that we’ve been given.”

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