CLINTON – Tupelo experienced both disappointment and joy Saturday at the MHSAA Cross Country Championships.
Tupelo’s boys all ran personal-best times, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Clinton. The Arrows ended the Golden Wave’s streak of nine state championships with a 15-point win – 54-69 – at Mississippi College’s Choctaw Trails.
“We got beat,” Tupelo coach Nathan Hall said. “We had five guys run PRs today, so you can’t complain. Clinton ran out of their heads. They hadn’t run times like that all year.
“You hate to see the streak go down, but they don’t last forever.”
Andrew White’s fifth-place clocking of 16 minutes, 48 seconds on the 5K course paced Tupelo. Oak Grove’s Chad Moore won the individual state title in 16 minutes flat.
Katherine Steinman, a senior, closed out her high school career by winning a second state title. She covered the 4K course in 15:32 to lead the Lady Wave program to its tenth consecutive state championship.
Steinman, who won her first individual state title in 2007 as a freshman, defeated eighth grade teammate Christina Daniels, who finished in 15:39 to place second overall.
“(Daniels) was ahead of me most of the time,” Steinman said. “I don’t know when I passed her. It was back and forth. She always pushes me. She’s a really good runner.”
Steinman admits she was nervous moments before her final high school race.
“When I was younger, I never got nervous,” she said, then smiled. “I had no clue what to expect today.”
Madison Nash finished eight in 16:02, Sabrina Hudgins ninth in 16:04 and Melia Milne 16th in 16:28.
“It worked out well for Katherine Steinman … what a record she’s had at state,” Hall said. “I think all of our girls ran well. We knew we had a chance to go 1-2.”
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593
GENE PHELPS / NEMS Daily Journal