Admirals Cross Country

bayside academy’s cross country commitment

With Bayside Academy’s Mission Statement and Core Values in mind, our goal through Bayside Academy Cross Country is to continue the excellence established in the past and press on to achieve our best today. Our program competes in the AHSAA at the 3A classification for athletes in grades 712, from beginners to multiple-season performers. Each student-athlete should seek to do his/her best, give 100% effort in all that he/she does, and encourage one another not just in our sport. To do this, we will do all things with TEAM as our focus, although training will be individualized based on the ability and experience of the student-athlete. Our student-athletes will not only train together to become better runners, but learn how and why the training he/she does develops him/her into a stronger runner and person. We will hold to this COMMITMENT as our sense of responsibility and respect to self and others, striving for excellence in all of our endeavors. 

These three words and descriptions will be our point of emphasis this year!

  1. Team: We will enjoy what we do with one another, building up one another through common experiences and trials.
  2. Excellence: We will do all things to the best of our ability, disciplined to do all things the right way and all the way.
  3. Commitment: We will always be there for one another, realizing this is what keeps us together and helps us reach our goals.

 “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”

~ Steve Prefontaine, All-Amereican Distance Runner & Legend

2018 Cross Country Schedule

Last season

Fall 2017

For the second consecutive year, both our girls and boys teams finished in the top 4 at the AHSAA 3A State meet. Our girls finished 4th, led by senior Mary Catherine Branyon and sophomore Lauren West who finished 5th and 11th respectively, earning All-State honors. Our boys finished 3rd, led by sophomores Ernest Ladd and Myles Cook who finished 11th and 12th respectively, earning All-State honors.

Throughout the season, our teams had strong performances. Our girls finished 3rd at Baldwin County Championships and were 2nd at Sectionals. Our boys finished 2nd at Baldwin County Championships and were Sectional Champs for the second consecutive year.  Even though several of our competitions were impacted by tropical storms, we were able to compete in the Wingfoot Classic in Catersville, GA, and enjoy a day at Six Flags afterward. 

the history of baxc

Team History

Since 1997, Bayside cross country has been one of the strongest teams in its classification, for both young men and women. Both teams have competed well at Sectionals and qualified many teams to the AHSAA State meet almost every year. Some highlights are listed below:

Girls Team

Boys Team

  • 2013 AHSAA 3A State Champions
  • 2012 AHSAA 3A State Champions
  • 2007 AHSAA 1A/2A State Runner-Up
  • 2006 AHSAA 1A/2A State Runner-Up
  • 2005 AHSAA 1A/2A State Champions
  • 2002 AHSAA 1A-3A State Runner-Up


  • 2017 AHSAA 3A Section 1 Champions
  • 2016 AHSAA 3A Section 1 Champions
  • 2007 AHSAA 1A/2A State Champions

AHSAA All-State Runners

Since 1997, we have had 25 athletes earn All-State honors fifty-eight times by finishing in the top 15 of his/her classification, with four of those being State Champions.  All-State Runners are listed below by year and finish.

All State Young Women

  • ·         Cason Crosby – 97*
    ·         Nikki Pilot – 97, 99, 00, 01, 02
    ·         Caroline Reehl – 00, 01, 03, 04
    ·         Mary Johnston – 02
    ·         Elizabeth Dumas – 03, 04, 05
    ·         Anna Hammond – 03
    ·         Crawford Hodgson – 05, 06
    ·         Celeste Sullivan – 06, 07*
    ·         Charlotte Gil – 07, 08, 09
    ·         Izzy Harrison – 07, 09
    ·         Molly Pinix – 12
    ·         Mary Catherine Branyon – 12, 13, 14, 17
    ·         Abby Warner – 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
    ·         Delaney Klutes – 13
    ·         Lauren West – 16, 17
All State Young Men

  • ·         Peter McGavin – 00
    ·         Sam Crosby – 00
    ·         Hunter Pilot – 04, 05
    ·         Dennis Dowd – 06, 07, 08
    ·         William Dorriety – 06, 07
    ·         Gil Walton – 07
    ·         Stew Shoemaker – 07, 08, 09*
    ·         Ryan Shankle – 10, 11, 12, 13
    ·         Ash Midyett – 12, 13, 14, 15*
    ·         Ernest Ladd – 15, 16, 17
    ·         Myles Cook – 17

*Denotes State Champion that year!

 5K Records by Grade Level

We keep up with the accomplishments of our athletes and recognize them when new firsts are accomplished. You will find below our best times by grade and gender for our XC program. 


Male Athlete/Time/Year

Female Athlete/Time/Year

Middle School

Ernest Ladd 17:14 (2015)

Mary Catherine Branyon 19:08 (2013)*


Ernest Ladd 16:36 (2016)

Mary Catherine Branyon 19:10 (2014)


Ash Midyett 17:05 (2013)

Abby Warner 19:32 (2015)


Stew Shoemaker 16:45 (2008)

Abby Warner 19:58 (2016)


Ash Midyett 16:23 (2016)*

Celeste Sullivan 19:47 (2007)

*Indicates School Record 3


Through twelve seasons as head cross country coach of boys and girls cross country programs (four years at Bayside Academy and eight years at Cottage Hill Christian Academy), Coach Joe Swagart has helped hundreds of young people develop a passion of running while also developing them in responsible young adults.

Coach Swagart places an emphasis on team, excellence, and commitment. Success in track and field is found through commitment, discipline, and desire. Individuals on a team show commitment by attending team practices and events, by finishing what they start, and by having patience with the process. Individuals on a team show discipline by how they follows instruction, how they change the way they live (nutrition, sleep, ect.), and how they finish what they start. Individuals on a team show desire by how they compete and train, how they take care of themselves, and how they treat others. When individuals come together with the same purpose, we will compete as a team at the highest level we can. We will commit to a level of excellence that shows we are giving our best in all that we do, that we give 100% in achieving our goals, and by how we encourage each other along the way. 

In Coach Swagart’s first two seasons with Cottage Hill, his programs competed in the AISA where his boys teams finished State Runner-Up both seasons, including ten All-State performers and one undefeated regular season athlete who, as a sophomore, was State Champion. In six seasons with the AHSAA, under Coach Swagart’s leadership, CHCA qualified sixteen individual athletes, five boys teams, and one girls team for the AHSAA State meet. In these six seasons, Coach Swagart’s boys team earned an AHSAA 1A/2A State title in 2011, an AHSAA 1A/2A State Runner-Up in 2010, and an AHSAA 3A State Runner-Up in 2013. His boys teams finished 4th or better each year they competed at the AHSAA State Meet. In these six seasons with the AHSAA, he coached fourteen All-State Runners and was recognized by the Mobile Press Register as Men’s Coach of the Year three times (’10, ’11, ’12). 

In Coach Swagart’s four seasons with Bayside Academy, eight individual athletes, three boys teams, and three girls teams have qualified for state. Both the boys and girls highest finish during this time have been 3rd place, with six athletes earning All-State honors 13 times, including an individual 3A State Champion and an individual 3A State Runner-up. In the Inaugural AHSAA All-Star XC during the summer of 2017, Coach Swagart represented the girls south team as head coach.

Coach Swagart attended college at the University of South Alabama, earning a B.S. in Mathematics & Statistics in 2004 and M. Ed. in Secondary Education in 2018. He has been married to Nancy Swagart for nine years, and they have a seven-year-old son, Owen (in second grade at Bayside), and a three-year-old son, Isaac. 


Joe Swagart

Cross Country Head Coach 

CLICK HERE for the Athletic Calendar.