Photo credits: Brock Kelly
4. Madison Ridgeland Academy
-Top runner: Mae Ellen Mallet | 20:17
-5K avg: 20:54
-1-5 split: 1:28
-Coach: Pat Lovett
-Win at MAIS 6A Cross Country Championships
-Win at Watson High School Cross Country Classic (Silver Division)
-Win at MRA Cross Country Invitational
-Win at Pontotoc XC Invitational (Small School)
Ending the 2022 Mississippi Cross Country season as the No. 4 ranked High School Girls team in Mississippi, Madison Ridgeland Academy.
After upsetting the 2021 MAIS 6A Cross Country title, MRA has been on a tear ever since. The 2022 MAIS 6A Cross Country Champions, the Lady Patriots had six total wins on their resume and took down top-tier teams such as East Rankin Academy(#3), Columbia Academy, and Simpson Academy. They have a nice 1-2 punch in Mae Ellen Mallet and Reese Johnson, a strong core in veteran Abi Alden Benton, and a seemingly endless pool of young talent like Brooklyn Roye and Riz Mcbride, among others.
They snagged the No. 4 spot due to their consistency and always showing up on the day, which is what matters most in the sport of Cross Country.
Photo credits: Ben Woolhouse
-Top runner: Leah Collipp | 19:30
-5K avg: 20:10
-1-5 split: 1:30
-Coach: David Hopper
-Win at MAIS 5A Cross Country Championships
-Win at Mississippi All-State Cross Country Championships
-Win at Ocean Springs Invitational
Finishing the 2022 Mississippi Cross Country season as the No. 3 ranked High School Girls team in Mississippi is East Rankin Academy.
After winning a tightly contested MSAIS 5A title in 2021, East Rankin has continued to be the most consistent program in the MSAIS, winning the team title in six meets this season, including a second straight MSAIS 5A state title and the 2022 Mississippi XC All-State Championships. They are led by a strong young core in eighth grader Leah Collipp, sophomore Audrey Mayatte, freshman Emily Williams, and seventh grader Emma Raines with a deep supporting cast behind them. If this core is able to stay together, they have a bright future ahead of them.
East Rankin has proven that they are one of the deepest and most consistent teams in the state, thus warranting the #3 spot.
Photo credits: Ben Woolhouse
-Top runner: Kaitlyn Burge | 19:11
-5K avg: 19:52
-1-5 split: 1:32
-Coach: Mary-Sada Foster
- Win at Saltillo Cross Country Invitational
- Win at Tupelo Invitational
- Runner-up at MHSAA 6A Cross Country Championships
Hernando's Varsity Girls had one of the best seasons of any team in Mississippi. Winning six of their 10 meets, Hernando was a dominant force. Hernando's only loss to a Mississippi Team was at the Class MHSAA 6A State Championships, where they placed runner-up to Ocean Springs(All-State #1). They also took down East Rankin Academy(All-State #3) on two occasions: At the 2022 Frank Horton Night Classic, as well as at the 2022 Watson High School Cross Country Classic.
Being the only team in Mississippi to have all of their top five runners under 21 minutes for the 5K, Hernando was hard to top. They were led by Kaitlyn Burge, Jessica Cartwright(2022 MHSAA 1600m Champion), and Riley Jackson. These girls were one of only two teams in the state to have three runners under 20 minutes.
They proved themselves worthy of the No. 2 spot with their consistent winning against in-state competition and impressive 1-5 split.
Photo credits: Chris Todd
-Top runner: Ashton Rainey(All-State #7) | 19:07
-5K avg: 20:00
-1-5 split: 2:12
-Coach: Timothy Sayers
-Win at MHSAA 6A Cross Country Championships
-Win at MHSAA Southern Region Championships
-Win at Admiral Brickyard Bayou Classic
Ending the 2022 Mississippi Cross Country season for the second year in a row as the No. 1 High School Girls team in Mississippi, from the coast, Ocean Springs High School.
Even when one of their top runners gets injured at the beginning of the season, the Lady Greyhounds found a way to show up when it counts. After being in a position when they were coming into the 2022 Cross Country season as the No. 1 team and defending MHSAA 6A champions, there were multiple unknowns surrounding this talented squad. However, the Rainey sisters, Sarah Litton, Michelle Brown, Maya Messenger, who was coming off of injury, and even young stars such as Hailey Scott and Caylee Ano, dug deep and found a way, the true mark of champions.
With a team title, a high school individual title(Addison Rainey), a middle school individual title(Caylee Ano), and potentially the best trio in 2022(they were the only girl's team in Mississippi to have three under 19:40), Ocean Springs definitely had quite the year.
A bright future ahead for both this time and Mississippi as a whole, we can't wait to see how next year plays out!
Written By: Chris Webber(Editor), Chris Bell, and Hudson James