Blue Waves XC dashes into new season bests


Gina Nguyen

Junior Colby Brown emerges from the woods, finishing up his last mile

David Gipson, Staff Writer

Running straight into new season bests (SB), the MSMS cross country teams continued their streak of sterling performances last weekend at the South Pontotoc Invitational, stacking up well against the larger schools present, with seven runners setting a new SB. Despite being only one of two teams in the 2A division at the meet, the Blue Waves walked away with fourth place.

Arriving about two hours early, the team used the extra time to prepare for the meet. There were ten schools at the meet, with most of the schools being larger than MSMS. According to senior Will Sutton, the Blue Waves stayed positive and felt good about the meet, despite feeling outmatched by some of the bigger schools.

”It was hard to compare to the big schools,” Sutton said. “It was kind of unfair to me but we still placed well.”

The Blue Waves placed high across the board, with junior Bryce Harrison as the first Blue Wave to finish, placing eighth overall with a time 18:20. Other top 50 placements include juniors Luke Bowles at 17th, Colby Brown at 37th and Cameron Wright at 50th. The rest of the team ran well amongst the large schools, with the team’s finishes being wrapped up by Matthew Dunn, Aiden Leise, Hong Zheng and Will Sutton. They placed 73rd, 127th, 137th and 138th, respectively. 

Half of the eight boys who ran Saturday finished with their best time of the season, with Colby Brown finishing with a 19:50, Cameron Wright with a 21:20, Aiden Liese with a 27:50 and Will Sutton with a 33:24.

For the Lady Waves, Linda Arnoldus placed 61st, Niyah Troup placed 65th, Skylar Nichols placed 78th and Gina Nguyen placed 114th.

Nguyen, who was originally there to only take photos, joined the team about 30 minutes before the race was scheduled to begin so the team could have the five runners needed to place. In an effort to help the Lady Waves, she traded out her camera for a race bib and subbed for Chloe Jackson. 

“I wanted the girls’ team to at least have a chance at placing,” Nguyen said. “At every meet I’ve gone to to take pictures, they’re always short one runner. So, I figured, why not?”

The team ultimately did not qualify for placement because one runner was unable to complete the race, therefore not meeting the five person minimum requirement.

In the end, the Blue Waves finished in fourth overall with a score of 142, which is 50 points from a placing position. However, the team did not feel this was their main achievement of the meet. Instead, several runners ran a new SB. Junior Cameron Wright expressed his satisfaction with how the meet went.

“Collectively, I feel like our team has improved,” he said. “Everyone has taken a step forward with our season bests, and with every meet we’re becoming more and more prepared for state.”

The Blue Waves are currently ranked at number 3 of 13 in the statewide power rankings for the 2A division. The Lady Waves areranked number 6 of 10 teams.

The cross country teams will be running in Eupora, Miss. this Saturday, Oct 5.