Tupelo runners lead pack at Saltillo

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

SALTILLO – As hosts, Saltillo ran a pretty good high school cross country meet.
Both Saltillo boys and girls teams finished second, while Tupelo runners starred at the annual Saltillo Invitational Saturday on the campus of Saltillo High School.
“This was a great turnout,” said Saltillo head coach Charles Covington, who estimated around 1,200 runners and over 40 schools at the meet. “I feel good about how my guys ran; the only Mississippi team to beat them is Tupelo.
“Our girls beat Oxford and Tupelo today. Tupelo is the standard, so that feels good.”
The Saltillo girls, the defending Class 5A state champions, certainly spiced up the meet in the Class 4A-6A race with 4A champ Pontotoc and 6A champ Tupelo, as well as Oxford. In the end, Pontotoc ran to the win with 46 points, while Saltillo was second with 64, Tupelo third with 67, and Oxford fourth with 89.
“We’re developing our team strength through our seventh runner,” Pontotoc head coach Mike Bain said. “Now we’re getting deeper as a team.”
Wave’s DAniels out front
Continuing to develop her strength was Tupelo sophomore Christina Daniels, who won the 4A-6A 4K race in 15 minutes, 34 seconds. Emma Knight of Corinth was second in 15:53, and Elizabeth Lunn of Pontotoc was third in 16:05.
In the 1A-3A girls, New Site claimed the team title with 82 points, with Myrtle second in 106, and Mooreville third in 111. Page Rowland of Ripley was the top girl with a 16:13, with Kendra Sanders of Mooreville at 16:43, and Rachel Anderson of Mooreville third in 17:26.
The Tupelo boys turned in a strong showing in the 4A-6A division.
As a team, Tupelo scored 31 points, placing four runners in the top 10. Saltillo continued its strong day in second in 52 points, with Pontotoc third in 64.
“If this is any indication of what we’re going to do at the State Meet, I like it,” Tupelo boys coach Jonathan Begnaud said.
Individually, Tupelo’s Andrew White dominated with a 16:04 clocking over a 5K course, with Bradyen Timmons of Pontotoc second in 16:49, and Luke Chapman of Center Hill third in 16:57.
In the 1A-3A boys team, Kossuth claimed first with 65 points, with French Camp next with 101. Joey Storment of French Camp was tops in the race with 17:16, with Sam Ivy of South Pontotoc next at 17:44.