By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
PONTOTOC – Tupelo runners and the Pontotoc Lady Warriors showed some championship form Saturday at the Pontotoc Invitational at the rugged Longbow Trails course.
Showing progress in her return to form after a bout with the West Nile virus, Tupelo’s Chrstina Daniels turned in a 15 minutes, 56 seconds clocking over a 4K (2.5 mile) course to win the Class 4A-6A girls race. That compares to her time of 15:59 a year ago over the same course.
“Considering she lost three weeks of training and still break 16:00, it’s pretty good,” said Tupelo girls coach Anna Sloan of Daniels, a sophomore. “She’s getting fit, and getting back to where she was before her illness.”
Also returning to form is Tupelo junior Andrew White, who won the boys 4A-6A event with a 16:20 effort over a 5K (3.1 miles).
White, who suffered a broken toe 10 months ago that hampered his spring track season, improved over his 16:46 time from last year at this event.
“This was very good for him,” Tupelo boys coach Jonathan Begnaud said. “He’s making a run at some times he ran last year.”
From a team standpoint, the Tupelo boys showed the form that has led to 10 state titles in the last 11 years, placing five runners in the top 10 in the 4A-6A race. Darnell Collier was second in the race in 16:58.
In the boys 1A-3A event, Joey Storment from French Camp won in 17:13, with Sam Ivy from South Pontotoc second in 17:44.
In the girls 4A-6A race, Emma Knight of Corinth pulled in second in 16:01, with Pontotoc’s Elizabeth Lunn third in 16:02. And in the 1A-3A girls, Danielle Cobb of the Spartans won in 16:00, with Page Rowland of Ripley second in 16:06.
The Pontotoc girls showed championship form in the 4A-6A event, placing three runners in the top 10. Pontotoc has won three straight state titles.