County teams prepare for state cross country championships

Cross country will close its season in Clinton tomorrow, and if history repeats itself once more, we’ll have a couple of state champions in Union County by the end of the day.
The county has three district winners and four district runner up teams competing, as well as a host of runners very capable of claiming the individual state title, or at least placing in the top 10.
Looking back at the history of state champions on the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s website, Union County has claimed 11 state titles since 2005, and you have to go back to 2006 to have a year that no county school won a title.
Myrtle has led the way with four titles for the girls and three for the boys, while East Union and West Union have each won twice, one boys’ title and one girls’.
And this is only what is listed on the MHSAA’s website. I’m sure if you go back further, there are even more titles that were won.
Union County is in good shape to achieve success once more, as Myrtle boys and girls enter as district champs and West Union right behind them in 1A.
Individuals from West Union who are sure to make a run at the overall top spot are Savannah Shirley and Hunter Jennings, who have dominated this year, having already won first at the county and district championships.
Myrtle’s Katina High has been consistent for the Lady Hawks, finishing as one of the top runners in every race this season, and will have a strong group along side her. The 1A girls’ race should be very good with Myrtle and West Union battling once more and the Lady Hawks trying to reclaim the state title after West Union snapped their three-year win streak last season.
In 2A, East Union’s girls are hoping to repeat, led by Katie Rowan, and the boys are looking to build on their second place finish at district and pick up their second team state title.
Pontotoc has dominated 4A as a team, but a couple of New Albany runners are very capable of strong finishes, particularly senior Daniel Drummond on the boys side.
There is a rich tradition in cross country for Union County, and that is well in part thanks to dedicated athletes and coaches at each school. The area has a lot to be proud of and will hopefully celebrate one or more state championships this weekend.