He’s not even in his “race phase training” yet, but Sam Moultrie was fast enough to win the North-South All Star cross country meet this week.

The race is part of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s All Star Sports Week based in Montgomery. All Stars from the North half of the state compete against All Stars from the South in the invitation-only event.

Sam ran the 3-mile course in 16:44. Cross country involves a course through woods and fields rather than running on a paved surface.

Sam said he got to see the course a couple years ago when a teammate was invited to compete in All Star week. On Tuesday, he got to make a practice run on it.

“I wasn’t as familiar with it as I like to be with a course, but I knew a little bit about it,” he said. “It was a tough surface with some sand and some rock.”

Believe it or not but 16:44 is not his personal best time. He’s actually run a cross country race about 45 seconds faster than that.

As he so often does, he hung back, just staying with the leaders for the first mile of the race. Then he hit his passing gear at the mile mark, took the lead and never looked back.

He was happy with the time.

“If you look at past races here, the time I had is about what the other winners have had,” Sam said. “I just wanted to win the race.”

He was proud of his North teammates too.

“One guy fell and dislocated his shoulder, but he got up and finished the race,” Sam said. “And we won by one point.”

The North edged the South 28-27.

“Part of the course went down into a ditch and then came back up and that’s where he fell,” Sam said.

Sam will be a senior at Guntersville High School this fall. He’s the son of Julie and Steve Moultrie.

The Wildcat cross country season begins in late August, Sam said. So-called race phase training, where the runners try to build on the times they’ve already achieved, will take place in September and October.

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