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Area XC season is off and running

Two weeks into the start of the 2020 cross-country season and one thing is already as clear as the nose on your face — the Brookhaven High boys are heavy favorites to repeat as MHSAA 5A state champions.

Mississippi Mile Split has them tabbed as the top team in the state — regardless of classification — in an unofficial ranking put out by the website. BHS is coached by Shannon Knott.

The first two weekends of the season have seen the Panthers clean up on the podium as they won the Mississippi College High School Season Opener on Aug. 29 and the Madison Central XC Classic on Sept. 5.

The MC Opener is one of the biggest meets of the season as the race goes off in two separate flights with a gold division and a blue division.

Ole Brook won the boys’ gold division by beating out 6A Pearl High by 19 points. Junior Grayson Childress was top finisher overall with a time of 16 minutes and 59 seconds on the 5K course.

His teammate Sam Arnold followed closely in second place with a time of 17:02. Other runners who posted scored times for BHS were Jake Thompson (17:56), Trey Knott (18:01), and X’Zavion Stewart (18:35).

Collin Kellum, Wyatt Scott, Robert Massengill and Jeremiah Layton all also competed for BHS.

Junior Chase Spring (19:32) was the top finisher from West Lincoln in the race. He was followed by teammates Tiler Castillo, Alex Leake, Dakota Spring, Zack Reed, Caleb Myers and Connor Johnson.

Saturday at Madison Central the Panthers took the top three spots in a 4K race with Arnold finishing first followed by Childress and Thompson. Stewart and Kellum were tenth and eleventh overall respectively as BHS once again edged out Pearl for the team title.

Spring, Castillo and Leake of West Lincoln were the top three finishers overall in the second flight race in Madison. Loyd Star senior Will McCullough (16:22) finished eighth overall in the same event while Logan Hux of Wesson was the top Cobra runner with a time of 17:05.

Jackson Hedgepeth was the top middle school boy finisher for BHS in both meets. Hedgepeth was 11th out of 138 runners at the MC race and seventh overall in a two-miler at Madison Central.

Other BHS middle school boys’ competitors included Bram Wolfe, Braden Johnson, Markham Williams, Mason Pigott, John Sones, Cade Johnson, Ian Kellum, Nathanial Bordelon, Asher Stringer and Isaac Stovall

Carter Coleman Britt, Cooper Creel, Zachary Reid, Carter Reid Britt, Braxton Williams, Chandler Creel and Lawson Cook all competed as middle school runners from Loyd Star at the race hosted by Madison Central

John Brayden James, Nic Raiford, Aiden Wallace and Trip Martin represented Wesson in the middle school race at Madison while West Lincoln had Josh Quin, Taylor Myers and Eli McEwen competing as well.

The Brookhaven High girls’ team is also a strong program with statewide recognition as they’ve been 5A runners-up for three straight seasons.

In the race at Mississippi College the team finished fourth overall and then were the second-place finishers at the race hosted by Madison Central.

Junior Ellie Slay (23:19) was the top finisher for BHS at the MC Opener as she finished in 16th place out of 85 runners. Other top finishers for BHS were Raney Scott (24:18), Ramie Stovall (24:37), Annabelle Summers (25:06) and Amy Mabile (25:41). Quinn Boerner, Ella Thompson and Merritt Wolfe all also competed for BHS.

Saturday at the Madison meet it was eighth grader Scott who was the first finisher for BHS, tenth overall. She was closely followed by Stovall, Slay and Summers.

Three-time defending 2A state champion Aubrey Britt of Loyd Star was the 12th overall finisher at the Mississippi College race in the gold division with a time of 22:43. Sophomore Shannon Moore also competed for LS in the race.

In the blue division race at Mississippi College freshman Madelyn Spring of West Lincoln was the sixth-place finisher with a time of 26:48. Alexis Johnson and Alaina Mathis also ran for WL in the event.

Saturday in Madison the top area finisher in the middle school race was sixth grader Macy Loy with a time of 16:38 in the two-mile race. Laney Hux, Mary Gwyn Hynum, Allison Hamilton, Whitney Paige Westrope and Diamond Catchings also competed for Wesson.

Other middle school runners from the area that raced in Madison were Loy Star athletes Avery Sellers, Ady Locke, Josie Breakfield and Ainsley Gennaro. Competing from Brookhaven High in the same event were Evie Bowman and Eva Mason.