The Pontotoc High cross country teams competed last Thursday at the South Pontotoc Invitational. The 7th/8th grade girls came away with a 1st place finish in 4A. The 7th/8th grade boys were 3rd in 4A. The varsity girls were 3rd in 4A, and the varsity boys were 2nd in 4A.
The top seven junior high girls were Haley Lowe, Channing Lane, Olivia Hamblin, Reese Laenen, Lennon Whitehead, Ava Whiteside and Sailor Huey.
“Haley, Channing and Olivia were the top 3 finishers in 4A, and all three competed very well," head coach Mike Bain said. "Haley has had a great summer, but she was coming off two weeks of quarantine where she could not train with the team. Channing is just competitive in whatever she does, and Olivia has also had a good summer of training in her first year of cross country. Reese is one of our most improved runners from last year. Lennon, Ava and Sailor are in their first year and starting to learn how to race.”
The top seven junior high boys were Braxton Whiteside, Luke Blanchard, Austin Brown, Andrew Chrestman, Beau Hunter, Jackson Mabus and Joshua Stegall.
“Braxton is starting to develop that Whiteside competitiveness," Bain said. "You would have to go back a few years to know what I am talking about, but those years were something special. He will be running varsity by state. Luke is having to work his training around football, but is a talented athlete. Austin is much better that what he showed Thursday, and I look for a much more competitive runner in the next meet. Andrew missed summer training, but is getting better each week. Beau is always going to give you everything he has. Jackson and Joshua are in their first year, and should race better each week.”
“We only had five varsity girls competing at South. We were missing a couple of our top 5 due to quarantine.”
The top five girls were Carla Ramirez, Kaylin Simmons, Ella Huey, Haley barefoot, and Samantha Vickery.
“Our top 4 have been at summer workouts, and will always give you their very best effort," Bain said. "I think Thursday they got caught up in a very large field of runners and lost track of where they were in the race. I expect a much better race next Saturday at Mooreville. “
The top seven varsity boys were Cooper Parmer, Freddy Porter, Jace Clingan, Ellis Maffett, Noah Holland, Kade Stegall and Logan Moore.
“Our depth with the boys is an issue with us right now," Bain said. "Missing just one with quarantine hurts us as a team, and it showed Thursday with our number three runner out. We have some pretty tough goals set for these guys by state, and if they are willing to go for it mentally, they can be where we need for them to be.”
The next meet is the Mooreville Saturday Invitational Hussey Sod Farm. The varsity girls race at 9:15 a.m., the varsity boys at 10:30, the junior high girls at 11:15, and the junior high boys at 11:45.