5. Luke Johnson - Oxford High School
Last Ranking: #4
Last Performance: 16:39 5k, 17th place finish at the City Auto Memphis Twilight XC Classic
Next Race: Saltillo Cross Country Invitational
Johnson finally raced for the first time since early March, and did not disappoint, going 16:39 and snagging a t-shirt at the fast course in Memphis on Saturday night. Although Johnson wasn't the first Oxford runner across the line, it's not like Johnson fell apart, and this was actually a pretty good performance for not having raced in 6 months. As a matter of fact, a really good trait to have as a runner is to still be able to salvage your race when things might not be going your way, and that is exactly what Johnson did on Saturday night. We will get a better understanding on where he is at next weekend in Saltillo, but for right now, I am going to give Johnson the benefit of the doubt and he say that he is still one of the top in the state.
4. Taylor Brown - Tupelo High School
Last Ranking: #5
Last Performance: 16:57 5k, 5th place finish at the Brooks High School Invitational
Next Race: Mooreville XC Invitational
Like Johnson, Brown may not have had his best outing according to his standards last weekend in Florence. However, also like Johnson, Brown still didn't even have that bad of a race. While the time isn't screaming, no one's time on that day was except Bridges. Also, if you looked at #6 All-State ranked Jaheim Bridges's description of his race, you could see that it was a very stacked field. Although I was not actually there, how the race was described to me was it was somewhat tactical with a pack of 5, and that Brown didn't quite have the kick he needed in the last kilometer. With that being said, I'm not going to let one race decide where Taylor Brown is in the state - he still went 16:14 to open up his season, currently #3 in the state and taking down Bridges by over 30 seconds. I would fully expect him to be back in full form in time for Mooreville this Saturday.