Trinity boys, Lady Hounds claim state titles

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2003

CLINTON &045; When the weather is right and there’s not any wind to speak of, that’s when cross country competition gets fierce.

Similar conditions awaited runners at the MPSA state cross country meet, and Trinity Episcopal’s boys and Huntington’s girls both claimed state titles for the second straight year.

The Saints finished well ahead in first with 31 points and ahead of second-place Ben’s Ford with 90. Austin Green took the top spot for the Saints with a second-place finish on the 5K course at Mississippi College in a time of 18:11.

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Green and two others from Trinity made all-state by placing in the top 10.

&uot;The weather was really perfect for it,&uot; TE coach Andrew Ketchings said. &uot;It was 60 degrees, the sun wasn’t out and it wasn’t windy or anything. Almost everybody knocked a minute off their times. Everybody showed great improvement. I thought we had a shot at winning, but everybody had to step up. I’m really proud of them to come back and repeat.&uot;

Nason Stephens finished in fifth place in a time of 19:33, and Wesley Davis was ninth at 20:15. Two others were in the top 15 &045; Chas Moroney in 11th at 20:38 and Stewart Mophett in 13th at 20:59.

Others competing were John Davis King in 22nd at 22:28, Scott Hanson in 39th at 25:21 and Matthew Rhymer in 33:01.

Green was tight behind Thomas Woodruff of Grawood, who won the race in 17:24. Green, a sophomore, stayed tight with Woodruff early on before falling back.

&uot;He’s won the thing for three years, and Austin stayed with him for about two miles,&uot; Ketchings said. &uot;He stayed with him the best he could, but this kid has been in the 16s before and Austin is just a 10th-grader. This kid is a senior. I was really proud of Austin keeping up with him as long as he did. And an 18:11 for a 10th-grader, that’s really strong.&uot;

The Lady Hounds, meanwhile, didn’t post the best times on the girls’ side but were bunched up well enough at the top to claim the team title with a 36-point spread over Prentiss Christian.

The Lady Hounds finished with 31 points to PCS’ 64 with Jessi Moak posting the squad’s best time at 14:48 on the 2-mile course.

&uot;That’s kind of what we’ve emphasized all year,&uot; Huntington coach Penny Moak said. &uot;We didn’t have to have the top finisher as long as we could get five of our girls in the top 10. That’s what we did.&uot;

After Jessi Moak the Lady Hounds were solid &045; Whitney Bradford was fifth at 14:57, Marie Miller sixth at 14:58, Katie Gray seventh at 15:00 and Emily Anders 10th at 15:00.

Sarah Story of Veritas posted the best individual time at 14:06, but her team finished third with 90 points.

&uot;We won it last year, and I really didn’t expect to be as good this year because we lost some good runners,&uot; Penny Moak said. &uot;But from the beginning they’ve improved so much. Katie Gray knocked a minute off her time. Everybody had their personal best time today, and I was proud of them.&uot;

The Hounds’ team finished in third place with Chad Kenney posting the team’s best time at 19:50, good for seventh place. The Hounds finished with 111 points behind Trinity and Ben’s Ford in second place with 90, while Glenbrook was fourth at 137.

Other Huntington boys’ scores were Adam Trevillion in 23rd at 22:38, Cory Gray in 26th at 22:43, Drew Loomis in 34th at 24:00, Philip Washington in 35th at 24:10, Josh Lee at 27:35, Trey Price at 27:40 and Corbin Carpenter at 30:20.

&uot;Most of the guys are seventh-graders,&uot; Penny Moak said. &uot;Adam is the only senior, and Jessi and Whitney are the only senior girls. They should do well again next year.&uot;

Mallory Archer was the Lady Saints’ top finisher in second place overall in a time of 14:31. Others competing for the Lady Saints were Geri Ogden, Carolyn Mullins, Melanie Hurt, Caroline Ketchings, Beth Cavin, Brittany McCalip, Hannah Vines and Crasara Ernst.

The squad was without Grafton Pritchard, who was out due to illness.