Lady Panther runners take MC Opener title

Published 9:56 pm Monday, September 3, 2018

The Brookhaven High School girls’ cross-country team picked up a huge team victory on Saturday at the Mississippi College High School Season Opener.

Brookhaven won the meet with 89 team points as they just edged out defending 6A state champions Ocean Springs by two points. Nineteen teams from across Mississippi and Louisiana competed in the race.

Junior Bailey Pounds (21:37) was the top finisher for Brookhaven, as she came in 10th place. Senior Miyah Miller (21:41) came in just behind Pounds in 11th place. Junior Gracie Gray (22:16) grabbed 16th place, and freshman Ellie Slay (23:02) finished in 24th place. Junior Carley Craig (23:26) finished in 28th place and junior Emmaline Wolfe (23:59) was 36th overall.

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Lucie LebBlanc (26:31) of Brookhaven Academy, Marlee Gunnell (26:50) of Enterprise, Emalyn Langley (27:52) of West Lincoln, and Wednesday Warren (30:59) of Loyd Star were the top finishers for their respective area teams. There were 201 individual runners in the race.

“I was very proud of the effort our girls gave,” said Brookhaven head coach Shannon Knott. “Any time you beat 6A powerhouses like Ocean Springs and Pearl, it’s been a great day. Our girls have worked all summer long with the goal of winning a state championship and we will continue to work hard with the intentions of making that happen.”

In the boys’ race, Brookhaven High School freshman Grayson Childress (17:17) took fourth overall. His teammate, Jacob Britt (17:57), finished in ninth.

Freshman Sam Arnold (18:35) of Brookhaven finished 29th and West Lincoln senior Jonathan Mathis (18:40) finished in 33rd place. Hib Johnson (21:31) was the top finisher for Enterprise and Leondre Dodds (21:39) was the leader for Loyd Star.

There were 255 individual racers entered in the race and 21 teams vied for the team title. Brookhaven finished eighth as a team and West Lincoln finished 11th. Loyd Star came in as the 18th place team.

“I think I could have run a little faster if the trail hadn’t been so muddy,” said Childress, who ran a personal best at the Ole Brook Invitational earlier this season.

The freshman says his team is putting in the work every week to improve. The Panthers were 5A state champions last year, but were hard hit by graduation, as most of their strongest runners were seniors last season.

Kara Beth Addison was the top finisher in the girls’ junior high race. Addison, of West Lincoln, finished 10th. West Lincoln finished fifth in the junior high meet, Brookhaven Academy finished eighth, and Brookhaven High finished ninth.

Robert Massengil of Brookhaven was the high finisher of area junior high boys. Massengil finished in 35th place out of 127 runners. Brookhaven finished seventh in the junior high meet, Brookhaven Academy finished ninth and West Lincoln finished 10th.

Story by Cliff Furr