High School Girls Individual Preview
*Leah Collipp of East Rankin Academy at the 2022 Early Bird 2-miler
2021 champion: Julia Stradinger (Jackson Preparatory School) | 19:41
Meet / course record: Sara Funderburk (Parkway High School) | 18:50
No. 1 seed: Leah Collipp (East Rankin Academy) | 19:45
East Rankin Academy's Leah Collipp is spiking up for the 2022 Clinton Arrow Invitational, and she will be ready to roll.
Coming off of a PR of 19:45 from the 2022 Ocean Springs Invitational, Collip could be looking at this season's first Cross Country win.
The eighth grader has shown impressive grit and versatility in track and cross country.
Currently, Collipp has the third-fastest 5K in the MAIS, as well 27th-fastest 5K time for an eighth-grader in the nation.
RANKINGS: MAIS High School Girls 5K | National 8th-grade Girls 5K
More MAIS girls ready to steal the show are Saint Aloysius' Samantha Edwards and Hendrix Eldridge.
*Samantha Edwards (95) and Hendrix Eldridge (96) on their way to a 1-2 finish at the 2022 Victors Kickoff at the Quarry
The two girls are ranked No. 8 and No. 10 in the MAIS, respectively, and have the potential to break away and give Collip a run for her money.
Other names to look out for include East Rankin's Audrey Mayatte and Emily Williams, Pearl's Katherine Neal, Clinton's Evelyn Mata-O'Dwyer and Sabine Cook, and Madison Central's Alex Lee.
State Editor's Pick: East Rankin has been all over the map this 2022 cross country season and are bringing their talents to the 2022 Clinton Arrow Invitational.
The No. 2 ranked high school girls team in all of Mississippi, The Lady Patriots alongside the frontrunners of Clinton, Madison Central, Pearl, and St. Aloysius, will make for an exciting showdown.
READ NEXT: Mississippi High School Girls Cross Country Team Rankings: Edition No. 2
Although Leah Collipp is the on-paper favorite to take this race, this is a tough one to call. She is coming off of perhaps the most impressive cross country performance in her career at the 2022 Ocean Springs Invitational; A runner-up finish in 19:45 for 5K, taking down MHSAA 6A talents Sarah Litton and Addison Rainey.
However, Samantha Edwards of St. Aloysius is also coming off a win at the 2022 Valhalla Invitational, beating out Mata-O'Dywer, Eldridge, and Emily Ireland.
The win will most likely come down between Collipp and Edwards. Breaking up a 1-2-3 finish from Ocean Springs is no easy task, and because of the momentum Collipp created at the 2022 Ocean Springs Invitational, we'll pick her to win.