Floyd moves up to 4A for senior year of cross country
Thomas Floyd will not defend his state cross country title in 2A in 2019, however he is ready to run with all he's got to challenge for the 4A individual title. Floyd won in 2018 while a member of the Ingomar cross country team, but his family moved during the winter months and he now is a member of the New Albany team coached by Alison Laney.
Floyd ran a time of 18:07.98 to win the 2A title, but he realizes that he will need to shave close to a minute off his time to win the top spot in 4A which was won by Mooreville's Dylan Allen with a time 16:50.67.
"I knew going in that it was going to be challenging, but that's what I want it to be, to better myself," Floyd said of the move up to 4A. "I really don't know a lot about it (4A division), I have a rough estimate, but I'm kinda going in blind. I'm just going to do what I can, do my best and hope for the best."
Floyd ran a personal best time in 2018 of 17:07 at the Myrtle Invitational which was held at BNA Bank Tennis Complex which was the first event of the year for all schools in North Mississippi.
Floyd and fellow senior Jamien Terry are the lone seniors for the Bulldogs this season and they hope to push each other to success on the cross country trail.
"He's (Terry) talented too and it's his second year running which he's inexperienced in this sport, but he's obviously really good, so I'm looking forward to seeing him right behind me," Floyd said.
Floyd will begin his quest in 4A cross country on Saturday, August 24 as he will toe the starting line at the Myrtle Invitational and will attempt to turn in the top time again in another classification as he will move up to compete against 4A-6A runners.
Floyd has run numerous courses and each one has it own distinct layouts as far as hills, woods and flats, but he enjoys running no matter the layout or the difficulty.
"I like Saltillo a lot (hilly) and I've always like the scenery there, I like the course," Floyd said. "Hills don't really bother me, I know I can handle a good hill and the reason I like hills is, if you think about it, when there's an incline, there's always a decline, so that's something to look forward to."
Floyd was able to run for his former coach Austin Epting in the spring for New Albany track, so this will not be his first season to compete wearing the maroon of New Albany and he got a taste of 4A competition then.
"I enjoyed running for New Albany in track in the 4A division and I got to meet a whole lot more people and runners from other division that really challenged me to push myself to get past the barrier that I need to get to, I really enjoyed running for New Albany in track."
Floyd looks forward to closing out his cross country career with the Bulldogs and hopes to be in the thick of things at the 4A state championships in Clinton in November.
"I'm in it to win it," Floyd said. "As Ricky Bobby said, 'if you ain't first, you're last.'"