Meet Preview: 2022 Tupelo Invitational

High School Boys Individual Recap

2021 Champion: Luke Johnson (Oxford High School) | 16:05

Course / Meet Record: Max Holman (Tupelo High School) | 15:54

No. 1 seed: Jaheim Bridges (Tupelo High School) 15:45

The Rundown

In the Varsity Boys 4-6A race, the big two names going into Saturday are the duo from Tupelo: Jaheim Bridges and Taylor Brown

They are returning to their home course to race the 2022 Tupelo Invitational. After a big weekend at the 2022 Southern Showcase in Alabama, they will be eager to continue their string of success on their home turf. 

Bridges ran a Miss. No. 2 time of 15:45, and Brown ran a Miss No. 3 time of 15:50. 

RANKINGS: 2022 Miss. High School Boys 5K List

They consistently run fast all season, and we do not see tomorrow as an exception. 

*Taylor Brown(736) and Jaheim Bridges(737) at the 2022 City Auto Memphis Twilight Classic

Photo credits: MileSplit Tennessee

Another name to look out for and an athlete rising up the rankings is Hernando High School's Graham Weiss. He is coming off a massive weekend at the 2022 Saltillo XC Invitational, where he ran 16:09 for a runner-up finish. It certainly will be exciting to see how he follows that Saltillo performance tomorrow in Tupelo. 

Capping off the Varsity Boys 4-6A race is Parker Shannon, the All-MileSplit Miss. XC No. 7 who took the win at the 2022 Saltillo XC Invitational in a commanding fashion, taking down some heavy hitters in the process. 

Shannon has now run 16:03 in the 5K in back-to-back weekends. 

In the Varsity Boys 1-3A race, the two names to watch out for are the rivalry matchup of Gabe McElwain and Chandler Ray.

McElwain had a top-notch solo performance last weekend to take the win, where he was aggressive from the gun and refused to let go.

*Gabe McElwain on his way to a 16:01 5K victory at the 2022 Saltillo XC Invitational

Photo credits: Drew Lewis, MileSplit Mississippi

However, Ray has proven he has the wheels this season with a 16:03 5K PR where he took down Shannon at the 2022 Mooreville XC Invitational. He has the ability to go with McElwain down to the wire, meaning we are in for two thrilling Varsity Boy's races at the 2022 Tupelo XC Invitational.

Honorable mentions in the entry lists include Bailey Kosko of Oxford, Giles Jones of Starkville, and Shannon's Saltillo teammate Jace Stanley.

State Editor's Pick: This is by far the most star-studded Varsity Boys' field in 2022 in Mississippi this season. Five out of the seven All-MileSplit Mississippi XC Team members, as well as Large School studs such as Graham Weiss, Bailey Kosko, Giles Jones, and Jace Stanley.

We could talk all day about how deep this field is, but we will get straight to the point. 

Here is what we expect: Jaheim Bridges and Taylor Brown have looked way too good in the early season, and they are on their home course - This screams a 1-2 finish from the Tupelo duo, as well as a new course record. 

However, we will say that Shannon made his win at the 2022 Saltillo XC Invitational look easy. At the very least, we expect a sub-16 5K, if not a top 2 finish out of the Saltillo junior. 

As for the small school boys, it's a shame that All-MileSplit Mississippi XC team members aren't racing for this one, but this will still be an exciting matchup. 

Last week, we called Ray to take down McElwain, and McElwain did his due diligence to prove his wrong. 

McElwain and Ray will give sub-16 a shot, but McElwain for the win.