Southern Miss

Vancleave senior to continue ‘elite’ cross country career at Southern Miss

Each of Lina May's coaches stood in the Vancleave High School library and heaped praise on their senior cross country star.

They all used one term to describe the senior, "Elite."

May signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Southern Miss with plans of competing in both cross country and track for the Golden Eagles.

May, who began running at Vancleave as a seventh grader, claimed her fifth overall state title on Saturday at the MHSAA State Cross Country Championship. It was her third consecutive cross country state title after finishing as the runner-up in 2013 and 2014.

May also holds state titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in Class 4A.

"She's extremely humble and she's extremely hungry to continue to be great," Vancleave athletic director Matt Walters said.

Her parents, Betty and R.T. May, watched on with pride as she signed her letter of intent.

"This means so much," Lina May said. "I've been running for six years and it's finally paid off.

"After visiting (the USM campus), I just really fell in love with the school, the team. The girls work so hard and the coaches are great.

May plans to study Kinesiology at USM.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee