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Ole Brook’s Pounds to keep running for Delta State

Brookhaven High senior Bailey Pounds has fallen in love with running. A standout cross-country athlete for the Lady Panthers, Pounds recently signed a letter-of-intent to continue her career at Delta State University.

Pounds was part of three straight 5A runner-up finishes for the Lady Panther cross-country program. She finished fifth overall in the state meet this season with a time of 21 minutes and 26 seconds which was first overall for her team.

In a release announcing her signing, Delta State coach Doug Pinkerton offered praise for his first signee of the year.

“Bailey is an outstanding multi-sport athlete that has excelled both in cross-country and track,” said Pinkerton. “Her accomplishments in the classroom are just as impressive and I know she will be an excellent addition to our program.”

Loyd Star alum Abby Thomas ran for the Lady Statesmen as a sophomore this season and was one of the top finishers for the team in most meets.

Pounds says Pinkerton reached out to her early in the season and kept in constant contact, calling her after every race to see how she’d done. After seeing DSU on a preview day and meeting Pinkerton face-to-face, Pounds knew she’d found her new home.

“I loved the family aspect that their cross-country team has,” said Pounds. “My Ole Brook team is my family and I knew I could find the same thing at Delta State.”

Pounds and her teammates are a continual presence in their training runs through the streets of Brookhaven. They begin their group runs in the hottest part of the summer and finish just as cooler weather is arriving. They run a circuit on a trail at the Sports Complex and go for longer runs out into the county.

Ask her about what she loves about running and Pounds can go on and on. What she likes least about running? Having to cut back on her favorite beverage.

“If I had to pick something that I like the least about running is having to watch how many glasses of sweet tea I have each week,” said Pounds.

Like many other runners, Pounds see the sport as therapeutic. She runs when she’s happy or sad as the miles always help her clear her head. She gives cross-country credit for shaping who she’s become as a high school student.

“I love this sport because it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” said Pounds. “It’s made me disciplined, it’s taught me how to face the hard things in life and it’s taught me what a leader should be.”

That discipline is what sets Bounds apart according to BHS coach Shannon Knott.

“Bailey is one of the hardest working, most dedicated runners that has ever come out of this program,” said Knott. “She’s been a leader for us over the last few years and will be truly missed.”