2022 MHSAA 1A State Meet Recap: West Union upsets

*Lucy Littlejohn earned her second MHSAA 1A Cross Country title on Monday, Nov. 7. 

Photo credits: Drew Lewis

Related Links: 

MHSAA 1A XC Meet Preview

MHSAA 1A XC Girls Way Too Early Rankings

2022 Mississippi All-State XC Girls Results

Lucy Littlejohn continued her reign of terror over MHSAA 1A, defending her MHSAA 1A Cross Country title in a 5K time of 21:44.9 on a hot day. Littlejohn won by a total of 37 seconds.

After a hot pace from Hickory Flat's Morgan Green, Littlejohn took the lead shortly after the 400m mark and never looked back, earning her fourth MHSAA 1A title, as well as leading the French Camp Lady Panthers to back-to-back MHSAA 1A Cross Country team titles. 

A 1-2 finish from Littlejohn and French Camp senior Annaleigh Bain, as well as all scoring five inside the top 15, was more than plenty to secure the 2022 MHSAA 1A title for the Lady Panthers. 

Averie Jane Gundy, Ellen Ulerich, and Kelsey Bridges rounded out the scoring five for the French Camp crew. 

Although they made it look easy, there was actually a lot that went down behind the scenes with the Lady Panthers' 2022 cross country season. 

"Our ladies had a very strong start to the year because of their commitment to summer mileage. However, somewhere around mid-season, we were plagued with injuries, physical ailments, and doubt. For the first time as a coach, I had to encourage all of them to relax and take their training down a notch.", commented head coach Joe Watkins.

"Some days, we'd just get together and play ultimate frisbee or disc golf because they needed to laugh and have fun. Coach Lewis was integral in figuring out how we could best accommodate what they needed. In the end we needed to ease the intensity of training and the pressure of performance so that they could see themselves for what they actually are, champions."