Varsity Girls 5k
Starting off the morning was the Varsity Girls 5k. The huge on-paper favorite was Brookelyn Morgan of Tupelo High School, the fastest in the state right now with a 19:05 5k win last week. However, the Hernando duo of Riley Jackson and Jessica Cartwright were also in this race, toeing the line with Morgan for the first time this season. Jackson and Cartwright have been known to take it to Morgan, as they are rivals in MHSAA 6A. As a matter of fact, those 3 are the top returners to the MHSAA 6A XC State Meet this year.
Back to the race, it was Morgan who took it out hard from the gun, and Cartwright was the only one brave enough to go with her. By the time they hit the 1k mark, they were virtually alone.
After the big hill at the halfway mark, Morgan was pulling away from Cartwright, and looked like it was going to be the Brookelyn Morgan show once again this year.
However, less than half a mile later, Cartwright reeled her back in, and it was those 2 going head-to-head going into the woods for the final time with less than a mile to go. Kate Gann was charging in 3rd trying to bridge the gap.
After a huge surge in the last mile along with a monstrous kick up the final hill, it was Cartwright that pulled off the upset victory, winning with a time of 19:39. Morgan was 2nd, also breaking 20 on a hot day, running 19:57. Gann almost made up the gap, coming in 8 seconds behind Morgan, running 20:05 for a new PR, and rounding out the top 3.