Cathedral boys win first place at invitational

Published 1:18 am Tuesday, October 18, 2016


NATCHEZ — If the Cathedral School boys cross-country runners perform as well as they did Monday afternoon, a state title may only be two weeks away.

With six runners finishing in the Top 21, the Greenwave took first place in its own cross country meet at Duncan Park, finishing ahead of the No. 2 team in the state, Jackson Academy.

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Twenty teams, including Natchez High School, Jefferson County High School and Wilkinson County High School, competed in the Cathedral Cross Country Invitational.

The Cathedral boys finished in first place ahead of St. Aloysius, Columbia Academy and Jackson Academy.

“Today was as fine a team race as I have ever seen — ever,” Cathedral coach Tommy Smith said.

Smith said Monday’s win was even more impressive because one of Cathedral’s runners was forced to drop out of the race  because of illness, and the team still prevailed.

“Our No.3, No. 4 man falls out and has to come back on  a golf cart, and we still won. That’s huge,” Smith said.

Cathedral’s Jalen McCoy took second place in the race with a time of 17:35. Madison Ridgeland Academy’s A.J. Stone took first place with  a time of 17:24.

“Jalen is a very solid runner,” Smith said. “He ran a good, smart race. He should be the odd on favorite for state.”

With two weeks to go before the state championship at Choctaw Hills on the Mississippi College campus, Smith told his runners to focus on the task at hand.

“We only have one project left this year,” he said.

Last year, the varsity boys lost the state title by 4 points to Kirk Academy.

“You talk about some dejected boys and an emptied out coach,” Smith said.

Kirk Academy will once again be the Greenwave’s No. 1 competition at state championship, Smith said. St. Aloysius, Columbia Academy and Starkville Academy will also be in the running.

Smith told his runners that if they keep focused and run as a team, a state title is well within reach.

“We can choose to do it if we put our minds together and stay focused,” Smith said.

The Natchez High School boys team placed fifth in the meet. Natchez’s Austin Heard took third place with a time of 17:46.

The Cathedral girls team placed fifth and the Natchez High girls team placed seventh in the Monday’s meet.