Cathedral, Natchez perform well at Cathedral Invitational

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cathedral High School’s Jalen McCoy runs during a meet at Duncan Park Tuesday. McCoy finished the race second. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Cathedral High School’s Jalen McCoy runs during a meet at Duncan Park Tuesday. McCoy finished the race second. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)


NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez represented four top five winners from local schools in the boys varsity race at the 2014 Cathedral Cross Country Invitational at Duncan Park Tuesday.

Cathedral’s Jalen McCoy finished second, Jay Vaughan finished third and Austin Gibson finished fifth, while Natchez’s Lonza Williams took fourth with six other schools participating. CHS’s Peyton Latham came in seventh.

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Williams, who finished second in the invitational at Duncan Park last year, said he could have placed better had he stayed in shape over the summer, learning a valuable lesson to motivate him in the future.

“I wanted to finish first,” Williams said. “Last year, it was easier. I was motivated to stay with the people in front of me in this race, though. I told one Cathedral boy that I was going to get him at the curve, and I got him.”

McCoy had a personal best 18:06 in the 5K race, coming behind West Lincoln’s Jason Watts who finished with a 17:22 time. Though it was a great personal victory for McCoy, he was more pleased with Cathedral’s team score of 28, which gave them the overall win at the invitational.

“We’ve all been working hard,” the eighth grader said. “Even though it’s our home meet, we’ve been working hard Monday through Friday.”

Gibson was thrilled to see that hard work pay off Tuesday.

“It’s amazing,” Gibson said. “We’ve been training for four years now, trying to get a good team together. Being a small school, we have to do what we can with what we have.”

Natchez came in third in the boys’ varsity race with a score of 76.

Also waving the banner for Cathedral was Abby Massey, who placed second in the varsity girls’ race. Massey also ran a personal best of 22:03, which surpassed her expectations.

“I’ve only ran this three times before today, and honestly I didn’t feel good about this race before we started,” Massey said. “It feels really good for it to come out the way it did.”

It wasn’t easy, as Massey and most of the other competitors admitted how difficult it was running on a course with slopes.

“When it’s flat and going downhill, of course, it’s really easy,” Massey said. “But it’s hard to push yourself going uphill when it’s this hot out here.”

Cathedral finished second in the race with a 63 score, while Natchez finished three points behind with a 66.

The Bulldogs’ Damion Hawkins represented the team well in junior varsity, finishing second. The eighth grader said that was his best finish to date.

Mallory Dickey, Hannah Mire, Olivia Wancaster, Faith Anne Brown, Anna Kate McDonough and Fisher Iseminger scored a perfect 15 for Cathedral in junior varsity. That was the first perfect score for any Cathedral-coached Tommy Smith team.