Meet Preview: 2022 Pontotoc XC Invitational

High School Girls Preview

*Mia Dawson of Lafayette High School finishing the 2021 MHSAA 5A Cross Country Championships

Photo credits: Evan Del Rio, MileSplit Mississippi

2021 champion: Brookelyn Morgan (Tupelo High School) | 19:22

Course record holder: Madison Jones (Saltillo High School) | 18:13

No. 1 seed: Mia Dawson (Lafayette High School) | 19:26

The Rundown:

Since the 2022 Mooreville XC Invitational, Anna Caroline Crouch of Saltillo HS has been on fire.

Not counting her two earliest meets, Crouch has been within 25 seconds of her PR in every race. A consistent runner is a very dangerous runner. Add the fact that she has the fast times to back up this consistency, and she could very well take this win.

However, every reason we just listed that Crouch could take the win could also be said for Hannah Sanders of Mooreville High School. Add on the fact that Sanders beat Crouch at the 2022 South Pontotoc Invitational, and we can expect a very back-and-forth race between the two seniors.

*Hannah Sanders and Anna Caroline Crouch at the 2022 TCPS Twilight

Photo credits: Chris Bell, MileSplit Mississippi

A potential dark horse to not count out is Elsie Wilbanks of Corinth High School. The only other girl who has broken 20 minutes for the 5K this season, the sophomore has made some impressive strides this season and could be in a perfect position to give the two older girls a run for their money if she plays her cards right.

Other notable entries include the Lafayette duo of Maine Lund and Mia Dawson, Maggie Irwin of Oxford, and MRA's Mae Ellen Mallet and Reese Johnson

State Editor's Pick: It looks like we will be treated to yet another Sanders v. Crouch duel at the 2022 Pontotoc XC Invitational. 

This essentially looks like a replay of the 2022 Mooreville XC Invitational - At that race, Sanders took the win. However, Crouch has taken Sanders down at every other meet this year... Except for the most recent race, when Sanders won the 2022 South Pontotoc XC Invitational. 

With that being said, this is very tough to call. Another interesting mix is adding the MRA girls, debatably the best girls' team in the MAIS. However, while we are fans of Johnson and Mallet, we don't know if they have the firepower that Sanders and Crouch have. 

So far this season, when the win is in contention, Sanders has taken the win. Because of that statistic, we'll go with Sanders for the win on Friday.