CLINTON • Another year, another sweep of the cross country state championships by Corinth.
The boys won a fourth-straight championship in Class 4A on Wednesday at the Choctaw Trails course, while the girls claimed a second-straight title and fourth in seven years
Walnut’s boys, meanwhile, won the 2A championship in only the fourth year the school has had a team.
Corinth’s boys edged Pontotoc 65-71 and the girls won easily, defeating runner-up West Lauderdale 49-88.
“We are family,” Corinth boys coach Luke Hatcher said. “My guys and girls run for each other. It’s never a single person running for themselves or running for a time. It’s running as a family. That’s what I believe 100 percent contributes to our success.”
Debbie Parker, who coaches Corinth girls, said the key to her team’s continued success is “kids who love the sport and seniors who pass that on to the younger children who grow up with a love for the sport.”
Corinth’s boys had five runners in the top 22 out of 171 runners, led by freshman Parker LeGoff. He was second with a 5,000-meter time of 17:35.12. That was 9.7 seconds behind race winner Keegan Leverett of St. Stanislaus.
Pontotoc’s top runner, senior William Porter, won a bronze medal with a third-place finish in 17:39.98.
Corinth also had the girls silver medalist, Elsie Wilbanks, a seventh grader, with a time of 21:09.41. Four other Corinth runners finished between sixth and 16th in a race with 148 participants.
Emma Claire James of West Lauderdale was the Class 4A girls winner in 20:54.44.
With five runners in the top 16, Walnut’s boys finished ahead of defending champion St. Patrick 53-60.
“Last year, our boys really bought into the program and they were runner-up,” said coach Jackie Vuncannon. “I think they were heartbroken getting that close and not getting the win. So this year, they worked really hard. They were all running the hardest and best races they could.”
Walnut was led by senior Bailey Quinn, seventh in 18:31.56. Freshman Gabe McElwain came in right behind him in 18:31.57 as they sprinted side by side to the finish line. The race winner was Tyler Castillo of West Lincoln in 17:53.87.
East Union finished fifth and New Site sixth.
St. Patrick repeated as girls champion with New Site, Walnut and East Union in pursuit. Aubrey Britt of Loyd Star was the race winner in 20:16. Saydee Taylor of New Site finished second in 20:44,68.
Oxford was third in the boys race and eighth for the girls. For the boys, sophomore Luke Johnson was fifth in 16:59.6.
Tupelo boys finished 10th and the girls were 14th. Golden Wave junior Christopher Eskesen was 14th in the boys race in 17:32.2.
The Pearl boys and Hernando girls were the winners. Individual honors went to Adams Gomez of DeSoto Central for boys in 16:32.9 and Lauren Entremont, a Brandon seventh grader, for girls in 19:55.63.
Pontotoc coach Mike Bain received special recognition during the meet. He is in his 43rd year at the school with 36 state titles.
The 1A/3A/5A meet was held on Monday. Tupelo Christian swept 1A, the boys wining for the fourth straight year and the girls for the third time in four years. Saltillo girls won 5A girls for the fifth year in a row. Other team winners were Brookhaven boys in 5A and Senatobia boys and St. Andrew’s girls in 3A.