Cathedral runner qualifies for nationals

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NATCHEZ — Cathedral School sophomore Ryan Skates has qualified to run for a national cross country championship.

Skates placed fourth overall in the 15- and 16-year-old division at the USA Track and Field qualifier in Madison Saturday, said Cathedral cross-country coach Tommy Smith.

Smith joined Skates parents in Madison to watch Skates compete against some of the best runners in the region. Skate finished the course in 17:59.

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“It was a nice muddy race, because of the rain earlier in the week,” Smith said. “Ryan competed against runners from both private and public schools.”

The fourth overall finish qualifies Skate to compete in the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships on Dec. 8 in Reno, Nev.

Smith said one of Skates’ biggest challenges will be the 4,500-foot mountain elevation in Reno — a very different environment from Mississippi.

Even still, Smith said he knows Ryan will do his best, competing against some of the best high school runners in the country.

“He will give everything he’s got. He always does,” Smith said.