Montgomery races through the heat, the field, and the dirt in his mouth to capture first place

Published 3:30 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

Loyd Star junior Gauge Montgomery comfortably won first place Thursday in the annual Ole Brook Cross-Country Invitational. Montgomery covered the 3.1-mile course at the Hansel King Sports Complex in a time of 17 minutes and 45 seconds, which outpaced freshman William Skelton of St. Andrew’s who finished in 17:58.

Not only was Montgomery able to overcome a triple digit heat index and a field of 98 runners, but he also had to get through having a mouth full of grit.

“I got dirt in my mouth when we first hit a dry, sandy part of the trail and I really couldn’t swallow for most of the race,” said Montgomery as he sipped cold water after the finish. “I’d have liked to have been a little faster, but it still feels good to win.”

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Montgomery finished as the MHSAA 2A runner-up last year for Loyd Star and coach Russell Cruise. The runner that finished ahead of him, Gabe McElwain of Walnut, has since graduated. Knowing that he’s one of the best 2A competitors in the state lit a fire under Montgomery that’s pushed him into the 2023 season.

“I didn’t train last summer like I did this summer,” said Montgomery. “I’ve been averaging 60-mile weeks this summer and I’m really motivated. I want to win state and I want to run a sub-16-minute race.”

Brookhaven High School won the boy’s competition with 25 points, beating St. Andrew’s who finished in second with 50 points.

Freshman Isaac Iles (18:16) finished third overall, freshman Coleman Knott (18:23) finished fourth overall, freshman Cooper Wallace (18:30.57) finished fifth overall, freshman Ian Iles (18:30.75) finished sixth overall and junior Bram Wolfe (18:39) finished seventh overall to lead Brookhaven High.

Other runners for BHS coach Shannon Knott were junior Charlie Adams (19:35), sophomore Isaac Stovall (21:52), freshman Jackson Greer (22:07), junior Braden Johnson (22:25), sophomore Asher Stringer (22:43), freshman Karr Wolfe (22:43), freshman Asa Thomas (23:00) and junior Jackson Wallace (31:52).

Other runners for Loyd Star were eighth-grader Carson Sellers (21:18), sophomore Cooper Creel (22:28), freshman Parker Satterfield (23:05), eighth-grader Mason Eady (25:51), freshman Riley Friloux (26:45), freshman Brennon Reid (28:00), eighth-grader James Smith (31:11) and junior Chandler Creel (32:36).

Junior Hayden Skates was the top finisher for West Lincoln with a time of 19:59. Other finishers for West Lincoln coach Jay Case were freshman Maddux Johnson (23:23), freshman Aden Purvis (24:56), junior Caden Seay (30:09), sophomore King Haynes (31:29) and freshman Robert Waldrop (35:20).

Senior Preston Selman was the top finisher for Wesson with a time of 21:24. Other competitors for the Cobras included senior Aidan Brice (21:33),  seventh-grader Grady Smith (23:41), seventh-grader Walker Breazeal (24:51), sophomore Brendon Duguid (28:26), sophomore Nic Raiford (28:51), eighth-grader Canderous White (28:56), senior Quention Jackson (28:57), seventh-grader Collins Watts (30:53), seventh-grader Grant Hynum (31:08), seventh-grader Chastin Wilson (31:19), eighth-grader Slade Oberschmidt (33:50),  seventh-grader Leyton Ainsworth (36:02), seventh-grader Drew Brooks (36:20), and seventh-grader Ayden Lee (36:24).

Runners from McComb High, North Pike, Warren Central and Magee also competed in the event.

It was also Brookhaven who won the 2-Mile junior high boy’s race. The top three finishers were all three eighth-graders who attend Alexander Junior High and run under the Brookhaven High name. Landon Newman finished in first with a time of 12 minutes and 36 seconds. Jeremiah Henning came in second at 12:40 and Brooklyn Lee was the third placed finisher at 13:16.

Other top 10 finishers were eighth-grader Jacob Joens (13:25) of West Lincoln in fourth place, eighth-grader Kagan Lopez (13:38) of Brookhaven in fifth place, seventh-grader Fisher Holcomb (13:51) of West Lincoln in sixth place, seventh-grader Maurice Wilson (15:15) of Brookhaven in seventh place, eighth-grader Cayden Lee (15:24) of Brookhaven in eighth place, and seventh-grader of Memphis Falvey (15:35) of Loyd Star in 10th place.

Other competitors for Loyd Star included seventh-grader Paxton Satterfield (15:50) and eighth-grader Turner Britt (18:04). Also running for Brookhaven were seventh-grader Malakai Huffman (18:55) and eighth-grader Landon Minton (22:13). West Lincoln was also represented by seventh-grader Corbin Stewart (17:18), eighth-grader Blaise Lilly (17:58), eighth-grader Elijah Legget (18:16), seventh-grader Alex Horn (19:08), eighth-grader Tucker Rains (20:33), seventh-grader Blaine Alford (20:45), eighth-grader Liam Thacker (22:08) and eighth-grader Fisher Rollins (22:32).