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Cross-country teams blaze at regionals

Local cross-country teams left their footprints all over the regional races in Clinton last week, turning in performances that resulted in a top runner, three top teams and fast finishes all around.

Brookhaven High School’s boys and girls teams both won in their regions, the West Lincoln boys team finished first in their bracket and Loyd Star’s Aubrey Britt was the first overall female finisher at the regional championships Wednesday at Choctaw Trails. The top 10 finishers from last week’s races will represent their schools this week at the state championships.

The Brookhaven teams took top honors in girls and boys brackets in Region 3-5A, with the boys team turning in a perfect score. Star Panther senior Andrew Knott led his teammates with a 5K time of 16 minutes, 22 seconds. He’ll be joined by teammates Adrian Lockwood, Darius Arnold, Jacob Britt, Grayson Childress, Caleb McCreary, Jake Thompson, Jesse Gilmore, Sam Mabile and Collin Kellum, all of whom finished the 3-mile course in under 20 minutes.

The Brookhaven girls team was led by junior Miyah Miller, who completed the course with a time of 21 minutes, 43 seconds. Her team for the state finals will be completed by Ellie Slay, Gracie Gray, Emmaline Wolfe, Carley Craig, Abby Roverts, Jordan Fries, Anna Mabile, Audrey Williamson and Bailey Pounds.

“We improved our times over last year and it’s the first time we have had a clean sweep at regionals,” said BHS coach Kevin Bower. “We are excited about the state meet.”

In 2A competition, Loyd Star eighth-grader Aubrey Britt completed her run at 19 minutes, 55 seconds to lead all female competitors in the entire meet. Hornet senior Abby Thomas finished 14th among the 86 girls competing, with both teammates receiving all-regional recognition. As a team, the ladies from Loyd Star placed third overall.

On the boys’ side, sophomore teammates Roberto Galindo and Leondre Dodds finished 10th and 14th, respectively, out of 122 boys competing.

“I’m very proud of our runners’ hard work and dedication,” said Loyd Star coach Michelle Case. “I believe in my runners, and I expect them to perform well. They are dedicated and strive for the very best.”

The West Lincoln boys came out on top of the 2A classification, beating quick rival St. Patrick by 10 points to finish first.

Out of the 122 male runners, the Bears peppered the top 30, with junior Jonathan Mathis leading the way in fourth place overall with a time of 18 minutes, 30 seconds. He was joined by teammates Tiler Castillo (5th), Tevor Murray (8th), Landon Burgess (13th), Will Gary (16th), Justin Pratt (27th) and Noah Addison (28th).

“All the kids each ran their best times for Choctaw Trails this year,” said West Lincoln coach Greg Allen. “Hopefully, they can better those times this Saturday at the state finals. It should be a good race.”

Enterprise senior Owen Douglas finished in the top 5 percent, placing 7th among all boys with a time of 18 minutes, 52 seconds. Yellow Jacket girls runner Marlee Gunnell also had a good meet, finishing her run at 24 minutes, 51 seconds. Enterprise boys finished in 9th place as a team, and the girls team finished 10th.

In the big Region 3-3A competition, the Wesson girls finished fourth and the boys finished ninth. Cobra runner Cody Meredith finished the 5K in 21 minutes, 26 seconds, and Megan Jones was the top female runner from Wesson with a time of 27 minutes, 49 seconds.