Meet Preview: Simpson Academy Early Bird 2-miler

High School Boys Individual Preview

Dallas Stricker, Heritage Christian

Defending Champion: Jake Harrington (Lamar Christian)

Meet record: Jake Harrington, 11:12.20

Course record: Christopher Atkinson (Park Place), 10:42.20

No. 1 seed: Dallas Stricker (Heritage Christian)

The Rundown:

Cross country season is upon us! And with that comes the across-the-state meet coverage, brought to you by MileSplit Mississippi. 

Let's start with the high school boys that could potentially snag a win in the first race of their 2022 cross country campaign. 

First off, we have Dallas Stricker, a 7 x MAIS State Champion out of Heritage Christian Academy. During his freshman season, Stricker put down very impressive marks such as 4:43 in the 1600m, 10:06 in the 3200m, and 17:03 in the 5K. 

In the 3200m, Stricker ended the year ranked second for all freshmen in Mississippi, only behind Taylor Brown

RANKINGS: Mississippi Freshman Boys 3200m List

Stricker also pulled off the distance-quad crown, winning the 5K in cross country and came back to win the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m at the 2022 MAIS 2A Track and Field Championships. 

RESULTS: 2022 MAIS 2A Track and Field Championships

According to our calculation, based on Stricker's resume coming off of his freshman season, we think that he is the favorite to open up his sophomore cross country season with a win. 

However, Stricker will have some competition. 

As a matter of fact, the Neely Farms 2-mile course record holder will be attending the 2022 Early Bird 2-miler, and that is Christopher Atkinson out of Park Place Christian Academy

Atkinson placed in third behind Jake Harrington and Stricker at the 2021 Early Bird 2-miler, but then came back to run 10:42 at the 2021 Fast and Furious Invitational, which currently holds as the 2-mile course record. 

Atkinson also placed third at the 2021 MAIS 5A Cross Country Championships, as well as a third-place finish in the 3200m at the 2022 MAIS 5A Track and Field Championships. 

Both of those third-place finishes were behind Sidney Stegall and William Fugate, who are both currently on the All-MileSplit Mississippi XC Team. 


2021 MAIS 5A Cross Country Championships | 2021 MAIS 5A Track and Field Championships

Two more to watch out for that could make an impact in this race is the rising freshman who will be racing on his home course, Denver Carter from Simpson Academy. Carter went 5:01 in the 1600m at the 2022 MAIS 5A Track and Field Championships, as well as a solid seventh place finish at the  2021 MAIS 5A Cross Country Championships. 

Lastly, Casey Haddox-Harvey of Columbia Academy, who has a 4:49 mile and MAIS 5A Championship bronze medal to his name, could also make a difference in this 2-mile grass race. 

Here is our pick: Although Atkinson will make it tough, Stricker will take the win. Stricker indeed has the talent level to break the course record, but he won't do it at the 2022 Early Bird 2-miler - It's too early in the season and it will prove to be too hot for now. 

What do you think??

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