Natchez High cross-country runners ready for state meet

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School cross-country coach Larry Wesley is excited about the future of his team.

But the present is pretty good too.

Both the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs cross-country teams qualified for the Class 6A state meet, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Choctaw Trails on the Mississippi College campus in Clinton.

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The girls team won its district meet last week while the boys team placed second in the district meet.

“We won our first Class 6A district title this year,” Wesley said. “So that’s a little bit of history we’re a part of. With being in Class 6A, you know all the teams are tough. We’re running against the best talent in the state.”

In addition to the district win, the Bulldogs also won the invitational meet they hosted earlier this month.

And the best part of Wesley’s team is their youth.

Most of the runners are either eighth graders, freshmen or sophomores, which means the future is bright for Bulldog cross country.

“I’m excited for our future,” Wesley said. “All of these runners are going to be back. I’m loving that.”

Wesley had especially high praise for eighth-grader Shanika Pernell, who is already one of the Lady Bulldogs’ top cross-country runners.

“She is just an eighth-grader, but she has a world of talent,” Wesley said. “She’s going to be tough for many years.”

But the team shouldn’t have to wait for the future to have success, Wesley said.

The youthful Lady Bulldogs should have a good meet next Saturday.

“I expect the girls to finish in the top 10,” Wesley said. “And that would be a great accomplishment.”

Before the Bulldogs compete in the state meet on Nov. 6, they will have a practice meet at Natchez High School.

Several schools will participate in that meet in preparation for the state meet.