Natchez High ready to give all they got in state cross country meet

Published 12:02 am Monday, November 6, 2017


NATCHEZ — Natchez High School cross country coach Larry Wesley doesn’t mind losing, yet he does care about the way in which his runners finish.

The Bulldogs are set to run in the MHSAA Class 5A state championship meet today at Mississippi College at Choctaw Trails, and Wesley wants them to give it all they’ve got.

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“As long as they show determination,” he said. “I think they are excited to miss school, but I can’t wait to see where they finish. I hope it’s good placing. That would make the past five to six months worth it.”

Natchez is led by strong individuals on the boys and girls side. Wesley said it helps the duo — Isaiah Wesley and Promise Batteaste — already have the drive to succeed.

Isaiah Wesley finished seventh individually on Oct. 25 at the Region 3-5A meet in Clinton with a time of 18:34.92. He and Alex Miller earned All-Regional recognition.

At the beginning of the season, Larry Wesley said Isaiah Wesley had been running closer to the 20-minute mark.

“He is determined to excel,” he said. “His stature is small, but he is always fighting to do the best he can do.”

Batteaste ran a 22:12.18 to finish second at the regional. She and Taliyah Harding earned All-Regional recognition.

“She is nothing but a cowgirl,” Wesley said. “She loves doing tough things — riding four wheelers. She is a real strong girl.”

Overall, the Natchez boys and girls team notched a second-place finish at the regional. With approximately 60 teams slated to run in today’s state meet, Wesley said he hopes to finish within the top 10.

“Overall is what really matters to me,” he said. “With all the schools there that really care about cross country, it would be great. If we place in the top 10, we know we are doing good.”

No matter the result, Wesley said he is pleased with how his team has preformed this season.

“This team has done very well this year. I think we won three or four meets,” he said. “I can just see how we have gotten better and stronger. All of these kids are repeaters, and they will be back.”

The girls are scheduled to run today at 11 a.m., while the boys are set to run at 11:30 a.m.