JACKSON Ocean Springs girls and St. Patrick boys won team championships Saturday during the 6A-4A-2A MHSAA state cross country meet at the Choctaw Trails course.
Ocean Springs won 6A girls for the fourth straight year and fifth overall. St. Patrick boys won 2A boys.
Vancleave senior Lina May was the 4A girls individual winner for the third year in a row.
Ocean Springs girls had six runners in the top 11 to finish with 30 points to 50 for runnerup Pearl.
“They worked really hard and the girls had a really great day,” said Tim Sayers, who coaches the Ocean Springs girls and boys teams. “I couldn't be prouder of them. Pearl gave us a heck of a race.”
The Lady Greyhounds were led by senior Amber Koch, who finished second in 19:43.84, 10½ seconds behind Katelyn Cartwright of Hernando. “This is the best I have done all season and I'm proud of that,” she said.
Andrea Wheeler finished third for Ocean Springs, Isabelle Wheeler seventh, Sadie Smith eighth, Katherine Prochnow 10th and Amelia Prochnow 11th.
The Ocean Springs boys failed to repeat, finishing second behind Pearl with 47 points to 35 for the Pirates. “Give credit to Pearl, they had a tremendous race today,” Sayers, said. “Our guys put everything out there on the course that they could, but it just wasn't our day. If we score 47 points and somebody beats us, well hats off to them.”
It's the first state championship for St. Patrick boys, who edged out West Lincoln 73-75. “We just knew that with the muddy track —the course got rained on last night — that it would come down to a guts race because conditions would be difficult,”said St. Patrick coach Timothy McDaniel. “Everybody did exactly as I wanted them to do. We had a game plan of how we would match up with West Lincoln and they executed the plan.
Cade Myers finished third for St. Patrick, Mason McCullough was fourth, Dylan Middleton 10th, Dominic Patino 24th and Austin Dossett 35th.
Clayton Fulgham of East Union won the race with a time of 17:08.10.
St. Patrick girls came close to making it a sweep for the school, finishing third with 66 points, four points behind East Union and two back of Clarkdale. Jordan Pete and Amelie Million finished sixth and seventh for the St. Patrick girls.
May easily won the 4A girls race, running by herself throughout the race and finishing more than 200 yards ahead of runnerup Emma Claire James of West Lauderdale with a time of 19:17.39
“It's definitely easier to push yourself when you can get behind someone and stay with them, but I have also gotten good at pushing myself when I get ahead in a race,” May said.
May, who has also won gold medals in the 1600 and 3200 in track, will compete in cross country and track at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Other team winners were Corinth in 4A boys and Senatobia in 4A girls.
The 5A-3A-1A meet will be held Monday.