Cross Country Speeds to Saltillo


Gina Nguyen

With his eye on the clock, Captain Landon Alexander sprints toward the finish line with hopes of beating his personal best.

Gina Nguyen, Photography Editor

Gina Nguyen
Reggie Zheng conquers the steep hill during Saturday’s meet.

The MSMS Cross Country team raced into the second meet of the season on Saturday morning, September 15, at Saltillo High School.

Unlike most meets, the results from this meet were posted within an hour after the runners complete the race. The team was ecstatic to find that everyone who ran the week before improved their times. Co-Captain Michael Payne even reached a new personal best of 24 minutes.

“[I feel] a little tired, but I’m really proud of myself,” Payne said. “I’m gonna continue pushing and see if I can get my time down another minute or two at least.”

Gina Nguyen
Senior Michael Payne and junior Reggie Zheng imitate the iconic awkward homecoming pose while the team hangs out before the meet.

Junior Hailey Desai represented the girls by running solo. Although this was a last minute change of plans, Desai managed to “take one for the team” and performed well. Despite the rougher terrain, she decreased her time by about 2 minutes.

As for the boys’ team, in addition to Payne’s achievement, juniors Elijah Dosda, Reggie Zheng, and Jaylen Hopson all improved their times. Zheng and Hopson ran at their own pace for the majority of the race but pulled through together. The two pushed each other and finished seconds apart. They both expressed their desire to do better next week.

Gina Nguyen
Junior Elijah Dosda pushes through the pain as he begins his third and final mile.

Dosda faced numerous challenges at Saltillo. His pacing mixed with the blazing sun caused him to slow down and even stop a couple times. However, he won’t allow this to keep him from continuing to work hard.

“In an effort to push my limits, I pushed too far and ended up falling flat on my face,” Dosda said. “This definitely isn’t the end though. I have a lot more chances to get myself where I want to be.”

Coach Cameron Scott praises the runners for their improvements.

“All the guys have been giving 110% in their practices, and it shows on Saturday,” Scott said. “This team has good personality, and I believe it’ll be a good season.”

Desai gives a final word of advice:

“Every day gets better and you’ll improve each week,” she said.

The cross country team will head to Starkville for next week’s meet on Saturday, September 22.