PREP NOTEBOOK: Champ doesn’t wear watch when running



By Gene Phelps

Daily Journal

Tupelo High cross country runner Darnell Collier had no clue about his winning time in last week’s MHSAA Class 6A Cross County Championships at Mississippi College’s Choctaw Trails.

“A watch? I don’t wear one,” said the junior. “I just run. I don’t keep up with my time. I don’t like running with a watch.”

Collier’s winning time in the 5K was 16 minutes, 11 seconds … and that was with him celebrating with a flip at the finish line.

He won by holding off a challenge from teammate, senior Andrew White, who finished in 16:27.

“From what I hear, (Darnell’s flip) was pretty entertaining,” Tupelo coach Jonathan Begnaud said.

Collier competes in running despite having an enlarged heart valve. He takes medication for his cardiac disorder and visits LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis for checkups.

Hickory Flat’s boys surprise state winner

Hickory Flat was definitely the surprise winner in last weekend’s MHSAA Class 1A Cross Country Championships.

Actually, Rebels coach, Michael Seger thought all along his team could capture the program’s first state title.

“Our top six runners have been interchangeable all year,” he said. “I knew we had a shot to get five all-state (in the top 14 finishers).

“Our sixth guy, Jacob Gadd, was the difference.”

Gadd’s finish eventually helped Hickory Flat win a tiebreaker against Mound Bayou JFK for the team championship. Both teams finished the 5K event with 48 points.

From an individual standpoint, Myrtle was a triple winner in 1A with Kitana High winning the girls title and Marquez Howell capturing the boys crown. The Lady Hawks were also team champions with 28 points.

The win gave High, a freshman, back-to-back state championships in the 4K event. Howell is also a ninth grader.

New Site, Byers play Saturday in Smithville

Fans attending Saturday’s Smithville Classic could see a preview of a North Mississippi tournament elimination game when New Site’s girls play H.W. Byers at 3 p.m.

New Site was a 2A finalist last season while Byers was the 1A state title. The Lions are now in 2A.

If both teams win their divisions – New Site 1, Byers 2 – and advance to the North semifinals, they would play at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 in an elimination game.

DJ seeks nominations for all-area softball

Nominations for the Daily Journal all-area slow pitch softball team are being accepted through Nov. 20 from coaches only.

Email gene.phelps@ Include name, class, position and key statistics of each player nominated.

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