Weekend Preview: Choctaw Trails reopens

High School Girls Individual 

Ashton Rainey, Ocean Springs High School

2021 champion: Brooklyn Biancamano (Long Beach High School) | 19:11

Meet record: Brooklyn Biancamano (Long Beach High School) | 19:11

Course record: Morgan Claire Rose (Kirk Academy) | 17:50

No. 1 seed: Ashton Rainey (Ocean Springs High School) | 19:30

The Rundown:

The High School Girls 2022 Opener individual title is entirely up for grabs. 

Perhaps the most in-form runner at the moment from the entry list is Simpson's Layla Warren

As of right now, she, impressively, is ranked as All-Milesplit Mississippi XC No.3. 

READ NEXT: 2022 HS Girls All-MileSplit Mississippi XC Teams: Edition No. 1

Warren has had an impressive undefeated start to her season, and she most definitely could be a significant threat to take the win. 

Layla Warren, Simpson Academy

Another athlete to look out for is Ashton Rainey of Ocean Springs. 

Rainey will be looking to blast off her senior season in dominating fashion. She had a superb seventh-place finish at the 2021 MHSAA 6A Cross Country Championships and a fifth-place finish in the 3200m at the 2022 MHSAA 6A Track and Field Championships. Saturday will be a season debut for her, but her 5K PR of 19:30 places her as the No. 1 seed. 

Rainey isn't the only Lady Greyhound to watch out for - 2022 MHSAA 6A 3200m Bronze medalist Sarah Litton could undoubtedly lead the charge on Saturday at The Opener. 

Much like Rainey, Litton is as tough as they come, and the fact that they will have each other to key off is dangerous for the other competitors in the field. 

Sarah Litton, Ocean Springs High School

Litton has PRs of 5:34 for 1600m, 12:05 for 3200m, and 19:45 in the 5K and should not be overlooked on Saturday. 

Yet another name to keep in mind is Benton Academy's, Lindsey Hogue

A 5 x MAIS state champion, Hogue is also making her season debut. She holds a PR of 19:35 in the 5k and had a stellar seventh-place finish at the 2021 Mississippi XC Meet of Champions. 

Lindsey Hogue, Benton Academy

RESULTS: 2021 Mississippi XC Meet of Champions

We don't know what shape she is in, but she certainly could be a contender on Saturday. 

Lastly, other key performers to keep an eye out for include Lilly Overby of Simpson Academy, Leah Collipp of East Rankin Academy, and Olivia Smith of Jackson Prep. 

**It should be noted that Maya Messenger of Ocean Springs will not be racing due to injury. It should also be noted that 5:06 miler Lily Garrett of Ruston High will be running and will be a factor for the Mississippians in the field**

Here is our pick: This is a loaded girl's field with many gritty 5K runners toeing the line on Saturday. The fact that MAIS 5A, Ocean Springs, and Jackson Prep are signed up makes this a very high-caliber race. 

Layla Warren has been on fire this season and has the statistics to prove it. She has taken down the might of Ocean Springs before at the 2022 Gulf Coast Classic, and aside from Garrett, it seems like she has the best PRs in the field. She takes no mercy when she races, and we doubt anything will change tomorrow. 

However, we can't sleep on Lilly Overby, Warren's teammate. She is a major dark horse that could do some damage on race day.

However, after analysis, Warren has the highest percentage to come away with another win, or at least the top Mississippi finisher, on Saturday.

Anything can happen, though, and we should look forward to some great racing on Choctaw Trails Saturday.