2021 MHSAA Cross Country State Meet Awards

WATCH the MHSAA 6A Boys Race Video from the Lead Cart

Race of the Day: MHSAA 6A Boys

        It's easy to pick the deepest class in the best year Mississippi boys running as ever had as the race of the MHSAA State Meet. 2 sub-16's 2 seconds apart, a 4:52 opening mile, a true freshman running 16:06 which is the fastest freshman time ever in Mississippi by almost 30 seconds, and somewhat of an expected team win, but in a really unexpected fashion. The 2021 Boys MHSAA 6A State Meet had it all. 

        So many guys in that MHSAA 6A boy's race ran huge PR's and was also just a great championship race overall. We had a great individual title race with the top 4 runners.  Luke Johnson opened up in the low 4:50s, Taylor Brown and Jaheim Bridges forming as the chase pack who were working on Johnson all race, and then Oak Grove's Bennett Ferguson coming from way back and continually chipping distance off of Bridges and Brown. The race for 5th and beyond was fun to watch as well, as Colin Brannon had a huge second half to finish 5th overall, and we got to see guys like Brannon, Rhett Schimpf, Graham Weiss, Noah Mason, and Jonathan Phillips run almost a minute faster than they did last year, as well as scoring in All-State Position!

Collin Brannon and Rhett Schimpf leading the chase pack at the finish

        The team race was just as exciting with the way that it played out, if not more! The story going into was the battle between Oxford High School and Pearl High School, as Oxford was very top-heavy with 2 sub-16 5k runners and another at 16:13, versus Pearl who had their historic performance at Watson putting all scoring 5 runners between 16:45-16:56. In the end, it ended up being Oxford somewhat handily, and even though their 2 and 3 did not have the best day, their 4 and 5 stepped up and PR'd by 20-30 seconds, and Oxford had the fastest #5 of the day by a good margin, which will almost always win you any state meet. Tupelo High School also had an outstanding performance as they snuck onto the podium for 2nd place overall, as Bridges and Brown led them to a 2-3 finish. Oak Grove High School also had a really good day to finish 3rd overall, and Pearl rounded out the top 4. 2nd and 4th place were a mere 12 points apart. 

        All in all, I think I heard it best whenever I heard a fan exclaim when looking at the results, "Since when did 16:45 not make the All-State Team?!"

All-MHSAA Team - Class 6A

1Luke Johnson15:54.19
2Jaheim Bridges15:56.76
3Taylor Brown16:06.49
4Bennett Ferguson16:09.23
5Colin Brannon16:30.10
6Rhett Schimpf16:30.60
7Graham Weiss16:33.95
8Grayson Edwards16:35.69
9Jonathan Phillips16:37.27
10Noah Mason16:38.03
11Luke Skinner16:40.41
12Gary Mata16:43.84
13Matthew Singletary16:43.94
14Noah Bowlin16:44.10