History made at invitational

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2001

Friday, September 14, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

Never before had Trinity, Cathedral and Natchez High competed

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against each other in any sport.

Trinity was a Mississippi Private School Association member

and Cathedral and Natchez were a part of the Mississippi High

School Athletic Association. The associations never mixed in sports.

That all changed on Thursday.

The Natchez area made history when Natchez, Trinity, Cathedral

and Port Gibson ran in a boys and girls cross country meet at

the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Natchez won both meets over Port Gibson. The boys took first

place by notching 31 points to Port Gibson’s 33, and the girls

won by claiming 21 points to the Blue Wave’s 39. Cathedral and

Trinity did not have enough runners to qualify for the team standings.

&uot;It’s good for the city,&uot; said Natchez High coach

Larry Wesley. &uot;It’s good for the kids also.&uot;

Cathedral coach Earl Wesley said, &uot;We’re promoting a local

invitational. It’s the only one we’ve got. And it worked out alright.&uot;

Before a ruling that took effect this fall, public and parochial

schools did not play sports with private schools. But in June,

the MPSA passed a resolution that allowed 31 member schools to

compete versus MHSAA schools. Trinity and Adams County Christian

School are two of the 31 schools.

&uot;We appreciate Natchez High letting us come out here,&uot;

said Trinity coach Andrew Ketchings. &uot;We enjoyed running

with Natchez, Cathedral and Port Gibson.&uot; He also added he

hopes to see more invitationals held for the local schools.

On the course, Tanieka Hill and Karlesio Richardson of Natchez

won the girls and boys meets, respectively. Hill ran the two-

and a half-mile course in 15:08, edging teammate Taji Dorsey by

11 seconds. Richardson sprinted to the boys championship with

a time of 16:56, beating his personal best time of 17:34. Brady

Hendrix of Cathedral took second in the boys meet with a time

of 17:09. He eclipsed his personal best time of 17:51.

Despite almost cramping up in the middle of her race, Hill

glided to her win. She said she felt a cramp coming on, stopped

and walked for two steps, started running and it was gone. Hill

led from beginning to end. It’s something she tries to do everything

she runs.

&uot;I can’t wait for nobody,&uot; the sophomore said. &uot;I

just got to run.&uot;

Richardson saved his energy for the stretch run of the boys

race. Hendrix maintained the lead for most of the 3.1-mile run.

But with about 300 meters to go, Richardson made his move.

&uot;This time I just stayed behind a little bit longer,&uot;

he said. &uot;I sprinted on him at the end.&uot;


Hendrix was excited about his new personal best time, even

though he collected three blisters on his feet.

&uot;I’m pretty pleased with my time,&uot; he said. &uot;If

I can get under 17 (minutes) I;m good to go for college.&uot;