BHS cruises to XC region titles ahead of state meet

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The penultimate cross-country race of the season for the Brookhaven High Panthers was a dominating performance for coach Shannon Knott’s team at Choctaw Trails as both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished first overall.

Next up is the MHSAA 5A State Championship Meet on Monday, Nov. 8 at Choctaw Trails.

The BHS boys are two-time defending 5A state champs and will be heavily favored to complete the three-peat on what’s become like their home course over the years.

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Brookhaven High competes in Region 3-5A along with Florence, Forest Hill, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Natchez, South Jones and Wayne County.

Only Florence had the required five runners to compete in the team competition on the boys side and Hattiesburg was the only team competing other than BHS on the girls side.

Brookhaven High went swept 1st through 5th place in the boys’ race with senior Sam Arnold finishing first overall with a time of 16 minutes and 24 seconds on the 5K course.

The senior quartet of Jake Thompson (16:44), Trey Knott (16:50), Grayson Childress (16:57) and Collin Kellum (17:10) finished in second, third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

Freshman Bram Wolfe (18:24) was the seventh-place finisher for BHS and sophomore Wyatt Scott (18:57) finished 10th for Ole Brook.

The BHS girls were similarly dominating in taking first overall.

Seventh-grader Isabella Iles made her varsity debut in the race and finished first overall with a time of 21:30.

Iles ran with the junior varsity throughout its season and won her division at the MHSAA Middle School Classic before making the move up to the senior team.

She was five seconds faster than her senior teammate Ellie Slay (21:35) at the region meet. Freshmen Annabelle Summers (22:09) and Ella Thompson (22:18) finished third and fourth respectively for BHS.

Ole Brook also got a fifth-place finish from senior Merritt Wolfe (22:48) and an eighth-place finish from senior Amy Mabile (24:47).

With Iles running strong and Slay posting her best time of the season, Ole Brook hopes to run close to the front next week when they face the six-time defending 5A state champions from Saltillo High.

Saltillo will also be one of the strongest boys’ team in that race as well.