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Area teams and athletes looking to repeat as state XC champs

This weekend brings on the beginning of the MHSAA state cross-country championships in Clinton.

The races will be held at the revamped Choctaw Trails and begins Saturday with the 5A, 3A and 1A competitions.

The final day of the meet is Monday when 6A, 4A and 2A run.

The Brookhaven High boys’ team are strong favorites to repeat as 5A state champions when they race Saturday at 11:40 p.m.

In the Region 3-5A race last week, the Panthers won another region title by having the top nine finishers in the race.

Junior Sam Arnold was the top racer on the 5K course with a time of 16 minutes and 55 seconds. Juniors Grayson Childress (17:22), Trey Knott (17:32) and Jake Thompson (17:54) finished in second, third and fourth places, respectively.

Sophomore X’Zavion Stewart (18:27) and junior Collin Kellum (18:42) were the fifth and sixth place finishers. Freshmen Wyatt Scott (19:36) and Robert Massengill (20:25) were the seventh and eighth place finishers and sophomore Jeremiah Layton (20:52) was the ninth overall finisher.

Natchez was the only other school competing in the region race. Saturday in the state meet, the Panthers will compete against teams from Center Hill, East Central, Gautier, Lafayette, Long Beach, Neshoba Central, New Hope, Pascagoula, Pearl River Central, Picayune and Saltillo.

It was the sixth-straight year for BHS to sweep top honors at the region meet.

It’s been three straight years of runners-up finishes for the Lady Panthers at the state level. They’ll get things started Saturday at 11 a.m. with their race.

In the region competition, BHS was led by eighth grader Raney Scott, who finished first overall with a time of 22:19. Sophomore Ramie Stovall (22:38) was the second-place finisher and junior Ellie Slay (23:46) came in third overall.

The eighth-grade duo of Annabelle Summers and Ella Thompson finished in fourth and fifth place for BHS, while junior Amy Mabile was the sixth-place overall finisher and junior Merritt Wolfe came in seventh.

Shannon Knott and Kevin Bowers serve as coaches for the Ole Brook cross-country team.

Large group of area athletes competing in Monday races

When the gun goes off Monday at 3 p.m. to start the 2A girls’ race, all eyes will be on Loyd Star junior Aubrey Britt as she seeks to win her fourth-straight individual state title.

Britt cruised to first place at the region meet with a time of 21:49. Her sophomore teammate Shanna Moore (26:41) was second and Wesson seventh grader Macy Loy (27:01) was the third-place finisher.

Loyd Star edged out Wesson in the team competition at the region meet. Also competing for LS and coach Michelle Case were eighth graders Ady Locke (28:59), Avery Sellers (31:17), Josie Breakfield (32:22) and Ainsley Gennaro (43:52).

Competing for Wesson were eighth grader Tiarra Tronstad (28:40), junior Alayna Westrope (29:07), junior Vivian McRee (29:47), senior Tess Holley (30:17), seventh grader Star Leonard (31:00), eighth grader Allison Hamilton (31:22), seventh grader Laney Hux (31:49), freshman Makenze Martin (33:43), junior Alexis Guess (33:49) eighth grader Courtney Carr (34:50) and freshman Mara Norwood (35:54).

Madelyn Spring of West Lincoln will also compete in the 2A state meet as a single competitor. Her teammates who ran in the region race include freshmen Alaina Mathis (32:15), Alexis Johnson (33:22) and Lari Reed (34:01).

West Lincoln was the top team in the boys’ competition at the Region 7-2A meet last week. Junior Chase Spring (19:51) finished first and his senior teammate Tiler Castillo (20:34) was the second play finisher.

The 2A boys’ race begins at 3:40 Monday and Castillo is the defending 2A individual state champion.

Other WL athletes who competed in the region race included junior Alex Leake (20:44), freshman Carson Temple (22:50), junior Sam McInnis (23:36), sophomore Zack Reed (24:31), senior Dakota Spring (26:29), senior Caleb Myers (27:03), freshman Ryan Purdy (31:01) and sophomore Connor Johnson (32:03).

West Lincoln cross-country is coached by Leann McEwen and Ashley Yelverton.

Loyd Star senior Will McCullough led his team with a fifth-place finish in a time of 21:38. Also running for the Hornets at the region race were seventh grader Cooper Creel (23:41), eighth grader Carter Coleman Britt (23:57), eighth grader Braxton Williams (26:53), seventh grader Zachary Reid (27:07), eighth grader Carter Reed Britt (31:45), eighth grader Chandler Creel (32:27) and eighth grader Lawson Cook (37:05).

Wesson freshman Preston Selma (20:50) was the fourth overall finisher behind Leake of West Lincoln and ahead of McCullough of Loyd Star.

Other region runners for the Cobras included junior Sam McInnis (23:36), junior Logan Hux (24:04), sophomore Gabe Selman (24:20), seventh grader John Brayden James (25:55), junior Turner Green (26:31), eighth grader Christian Marin , seventh grader Nic Raiford, junior Brandon Gladon (31:165), and seventh grader Trip Martin (39:13).