For this week's MileSplit Mississippi Senior Sendoff, we are sending off one of the leaders of Neshoba Central HS, Leighton Henry, who is heading all the way to Porterville, Cal. to attend Porterville College!
Porterville College is a public, two-year junior college that competes in the Central Valley Conference, and is governed by the California Community College Athletic Association.
Henry will be adding to a young and up-and-coming program, which had six freshmen on their 2021 cross country roster. Henry can potentially be one of their top five runners this Fall.
Henry is coming off of a successful 2022 outdoor campaign, where he qualified for the 2022 MHSAA 5A North State Track and Field Championships in the 3200m.
On the side of academics, Henry will be double majoring in Graphic Design and Journalism, which could potentially land him a job in a sports media position.
We asked Henry some questions and insight in regards to his high school career, what he loves about running, and some advice that he would leave behind to all of the track and field athletes that are still on their journey.
Check them out below!
Q: Explain your 'running journey'... (How did you get into running, how did your senior season go, and how did you get connected with the college that you are going to?)
A: Thomas Saunders and Alonso Henry were the main ones who inspired me to try something new and running. Middle school year 7th grade didn't know what I got myself into but went out there and gave it a shot!. I had a long run and I left my phone where my bag was and when I returned I had missed calls and e-mails from the college I received the offer from so it went from there and my coach gave me information about the school and running program so I was interested.
Q: What is your most memorable meet/race and why?
A: Huntsville Xc championship is the most memorable trip with the boys, and it's great experience to get out there and to enjoy the environment also you get to meet other studs. Plus I pr there like a second and seconds is a lot while your racing!
Q: Out of all your high school achievements, which one means the most to you and why?
A: Xc season'22 district meet coming in top 20
Q: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?
A: 2020 off season getting ready for track wish I took care of myself tore my meniscus and missed track season! Wish I had that season back because I thought I really improved a lot during the 2020 season as well my times were progressing.
Q: Who is somebody that you look up to/someone that helped you along your journey to get you where you are today?
A: My father and Thomas Saunders. And I look up to a lot of good people in running like cole hocker and cooper teare. Really appreciate Thomas Saunders for the early morning training and workouts and long runs, he has helped me a lot to achieve where I am at now!
Q: What will you miss the most?
A: The late night bus ride going back home or going to meet! Getting out of school early.lol going to Choctaw trails in the middle of October every year! The memories with team bonding. After school practices and running with my Neshoba family.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to the younger athletes that are just getting started on their journey?
A: Don't give up!! Continue to Strive for better make sure you follow your training plan and take care of yourself. Running is meant to be a fun and challenging sport. so go out there and make a name for yourself!