Fugate snags strong Win, leads MSAIS Overall
In the Varsity Boy's race, it was also some very deep competition in the central part of the state at Clinton, as we saw 4 break 17 and 7 more run 17:20 or faster. The winner that emerged from the pack however was none other than private school stud from Madison St. Joseph, William Fugate. Fugate copped another PR for the season, breaking 16:40 and beating some stellar competition.
Fugate is probably one of the best racers in the state. This is now his 2nd win in a row, but the way that he runs these 5k's is awesome. As I stated in the Photos Article from yesterday, Fugate likes to hang back in the first mile and have it to himself, and it's as if the race doesn't start for him until after the 1st mile. On the back half of the race, though, you can find him flying as he passes people left and right and making money moves to surge for the win. Much like Bridges, Fugate's stock is shooting up!!
Jonathan Phillips of Pearl also snagged himself a new PR, running 16:41 for 2nd place overall. Last season, his best time was 17:23, but has now broken 17 in all 3 of his races this year, so it has been great to see him back on track for his senior season.
Christian Parks of Clinton rounded out the top 3 running 16:48, and track superstar Ben Owens of Madison Central finally caught some momentum, snagging his first sub-17 of his career running 16:55, finishing 4th overall.
Jackson Prep Girls come out on Top in Close Battle
Moving on over to the girl's race, it was the top-heavy Jackson Preparatory School that beat a full Pearl High School squad in a close battle, winning out by a mere 6 points. Julia Stradinger got her 3rd win of the season and 1st sub-20 5k of the season, running 19:41 and winning by over 30 seconds. Stradinger led the Jackson Prep 1-2 sweep as teammate Rachel Rutledge came in 2nd running 20:14, which was a new PR for the junior. Prep had a very top-heavy squad that placed 4 in the top 7, and while their usual #5 is currently out, freshman Emma Reeves (pictured up top) stepped up from JV competition and got the job done, running 22:50 for 5k and finished as Prep's #5.
If Olivia Smith would have toed the line, the result may have been slightly different as she would have most likely finished near the top 10, but it should also be noted that some of Pearl's top 5 are coming off of injury and this was their first race back - this is including their low stick and sub-12 2 miler Shana Sellers.
It will be fantastic to watch these 2 teams go at it when they are at full force along with Hernando and Saltillo at the All-State Championships.