Meet Preview: 2022 Miss. Middle School XC Championships

Large School Boys

The large school boys race is shaping up to be a rematch of the middle school boys race at Watson this past weekend.

The new state record holder, Andrew Brown, will be back in action on Choctaw Trails.

*Andrew Brown breaking the 3K state record at the 2022 Watson Cross Country Classic

Photo credits: Brock Kelly 

With the confidence from his previous race, and his dominance throughout the season, it will be extremely hard to beat Brown.

Cooper Wallace of Brookhaven and Gage Sumrall of Pearl placed second and third respectively at Watson. It is expected to see a similar race play out.

There is a wildcard thrown into the mix here, and that is Toshan Delong. He is new to the Mississippi running scene and has not yet had a chance to race some of the major powers in the state, so it will be hard to tell how he will fare.

*Toshan Delong winning the 2022 Pontotoc XC Invitational

It has been a successful first season so far racing for Oxford. Delong has three wins this season. One of his most impressive feats is his 3200m personal best of 10:41 that he ran at the 2022 Mooreville Invitational.

He has proven that he has what it takes to get into that top three and prevent a Watson repeat.

It is a tossup between Brookhaven, Tupelo, and Oxford to see who takes the team title. One thing is for sure, it will be a showdown on all fronts.

Large School Girls

McKinley Drennan of Northwest Rankin comes into this race undefeated on the season. Drennan currently holds the top 3k time in the state with a 12:02. The eighth-grade star has had one of the most dominant seasons of anyone in the state. However, this race will be her biggest test yet.

Caylee Ano and Carrie Ann Brown will be Drennan's biggest threats to the middle school state title. 

*McKinley Drennan (1265) and Caylee Ano (989) battling at The Opener

Photo credits: Christian Leach, MileSplit Mississippi

Through two years of cross country and one year of track, Ano has never placed worse than third. Ano has won every race this year except The Opener, where she placed second to Drennan. 

Last year, Ano placed third at the 2021 MHSAA Middle School Classic, where she ran a personal best of 11:57.

Brown is a newcomer to the Mississippi cross-country scene in 2022, but she has already made her mark. Brown has won three races this year, her most recent being one of the most impressive. With a 3k time of 12:23, Brown held off a strong field at the 2022 Watson High School Cross Country Classic.

All three of these girls are rising stars in the state of Mississippi and will put up a great fight in a very competitive race.

In the team side of the competition, it will be a face-off between Tupelo and Madison Central. It is hard to call who will win, but it will be a great matchup.