Tupelo's Holman stays warm with cross country Challenge win

TUPELO – Max Holman enjoyed running in Saturday’s cold, windy weather.
Tupelo High School’s two-time defending state cross country champion blitzed his home course at Sportsplex in 15 minutes, 55 seconds to win the annual Tupelo Challenge.
“There were a few parts in the open where the wind was bad,” the Golden Wave senior said. “The cold weather was fine. The conditions were good.”
Clinton’s William Kazery covered the 5K course in 16:22 to finished second overall to Holman in the large school competition for 4A-6A schools.
Tupelo, which has won eight straight Class 5A state titles in boys and girls, will compete for its first 6A state championship Nov. 7 at Mississippi College’s Choctaw Trails in Clinton.
Holman believes the Golden Wave is on track to defend its title as the state’s best.
“We could all improve a little,” he said. “I feel like we can really do well at state. Things are starting to come together.”
In the girls’ large school division, Katie Stewart of Rogersville, Ala., the defending Alabama 4A state champion, covered the 4K course in 15:21 for her sixth victory this season.
Tupelo’s Katherine Steinman was second in 15:43.
“I just went out there and did my best,” said Stewart, a sophomore, who led from start to finish. “It was so cold, I wanted to hurry up and finish.”
In the boys small school 5K race, Aberdeen’s Demeiro Wilson won in 17:03 while Corinth’s Ben Strickland was second in 17:23.
In the girls small school 4K race, Corinth’s Lauren Foropoulos won in 15:34 after leading from start to finish. Kossuth’s Shelbi Barnes was second in 16:42.
Tupelo won the large school boys and girls team titles while Kossuth’s boys and Corinth’s girls captured the small school team wins.

Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or gene.phelps@djournal.com.

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal