Another week, another championship for the French Camp girls cross country team. The Lady Panthers edged St. Augustine of New Orleans 91-92 in Division II at the Watson High School meet. The meet was held last Saturday at Choctaw Trails, which will be the site of the 1A state meet Oct. 29.
“Our girls paced themselves well and were able to finish well,” said coach Joe Watkins. “We won by one point, so it literally came down to every single runner.”
Watkins said it was important for his runners to acclimate themselves with the reconfigured Choctaw Trails course prior to the state meet.
St. Augustine had the individual winner, but French Camp had five runners in the top 22 out of 114 competitors.
Averie Jane Gundy led French Camp, finishing 13th with a time of 22:41 for 5,000 meters. Ellen Ulerich was 15th in 22:51.7, Annaleigh Bain 20th in 23:49.6, Maddi Davis 21st in 23:51.2, Kelsey Bridges 22nd in 23:59.9, Olivia Gundy 27th in 24:22.4, Olivia Surrette 49th in 25:54.8 and Kylie Shirley 65th in 27:05.
The race winner was St. Augustine seventh grader Alex Lee with a clocking of 20:37.7.
The French Camp boys finished 15th. Stratton Choppala was the Panthers top individual, finishing 31st in 20:05.9. He was followed Brady Peacock, 64th with a time of 21:28, Beau McPhail 105th (23:30.6), Ian Choppala, 112th (24:04.4) and James Cantey, 121st (24:41.4).
There were three divisions at the meet. Division II was for MHSAA 1A, 2A and 3A schools, and private schools.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association is limiting the entries for the state meet this year due to the pandemic. Whether the French Camp boys qualify to compete as a team is still up in the air.
On Oct. 17 French Camp will host a meet for the second time this season.