MileSplit MS Talk of the Town: Multiple Course Records Fall

South Panola XC Classic Dominated by Hernando Duo

Performance(s): Hernando's Kaitlyn Burge and Graham Weiss won the Varsity Girls and Boys 5K(XC) races at the 2023 South Panola XC Classic in 19:15 and 16:52, respectively. 

For The Record: Both Burge and Weiss shattered the course records in a near solo effort, and are currently hold the fastest 5K(XC) times in Mississippi. 

The Scoop: The 2023 South Panola XC Classic witnessed an exhilarating showcase from Hernando's power duo, Kaitlyn Burge and Graham Weiss, who both shattered the South Panola High School course records.

Burge, blitzing the Varsity Girls 5K in a blistering 19:15, came tantalizingly close to her PR, showing tremendous improvement from her last year's timing at the same event. Breaking the previous record by a staggering minute, and leaving her competitors a full one minute and 47 seconds behind, her win is a testament to her evolution as a Mississippi elite. Riding on this momentum, she could soon ascend the ranks of the All-MileSplit Mississippi XC team.

Not to be outdone, Graham Weiss delivered a masterclass performance with a 16:52 finish in the boys' category, stripping the title from previous record holder, 2020 Desoto Central graduate Adam Gomez who is now competing at Mississippi College.

With both Burge and Weiss now holding the fastest 5K(XC) times in Mississippi, Hernando has firmly stamped its dominance on the Mississippi cross country scene in a big way.

Lilly Overby's Weekend of Triumph

Performance(s): In a span of 48 hours, Simpson Academy's Lilly Overby garnered two wins at the Cathedral XC Twilight and Park Place Christian Invitational

For The Record: Overby secured the High School Girls 2-mile course record at the Cathedral XC Twilight Invitational before earning her first 5K(XC) win of the season on her home course at the Park Place Christian Invitational. 

The Scoop: Lilly Overby, currently reigning as the No. 1 ranked high school girl in on the MileSplit Mississippi XC team, dazzled audiences with not one, but two breathtaking victories within a mere 48-hour window.

Kicking things off at the Cathedral XC Twilight Invitational on Saturday, Overby showcased her unrivaled prowess, clinching the Varsity Girls 2-mile with a fresh course record of 11:57. This win became even more poignant as she outpaced her teammate, the No. 3 ranked Layla Warren.

Then, showing no signs of slowing down, Overby emerged victorious once again at the Park Place Christian Invitational on Monday, clocking her season's first 5K(XC) win with an impressive 20:20.7, even in the sweltering heat. While notable talents like Warren and Hartfield's Ella Rankin were missing from the results, Overby's consistent performance underscores her dominating form and still secured a win over a solid field.

With cooler temperatures on the horizon, Overby's momentum hints at even faster and more exhilarating performances to come.

Pearl HS Boys Make History in Local 3200m

Performance(s): At the 'XC Challenge Under the Stars', Pearl High School Boys top five averaged 9:41 in track 3200m. The race was won by JaQuavion Bryant in 9:32. 

For The Record: To our knowledge, no Mississippi team has ever put six boys under 10 minutes in a 3200m in a single race. Additionally, no Mississippi squad has ever had averaged as fast as 9:41 for their top five runners. 

The Scoop: Pearl High School is back.

Not only is this the fastest squad Mississippi has seen during this stage in the season, this is by the far the deepest. They had two athletes under 9:40, five under 9:50, and eight under 10:05.

The entire squad is boasting phenomenal fitness. With Farren Oberto going sub 9:40 for the first time, he along with JaQuavion Bryant will look to be low sticks for the Pirates come the regular and post season. Karol Gonzalez threw down a huge lifetime best of nearly 15 seconds, and showed he is a threat on the grass. On top of that, Tanner Moore also secured a huge personal best over 3200m.

It's safe to say that the Pirates are in shape. With the kind of improvement this team has seen, they are poised to dominate most every competition they enter across the state. Additionally, they will also look to be competitive in some of the South's premier cross country meets such as the Watson High School Classic and the Jesse Owens Classic.

Quick Hits

-In a span of 48 hours, Guage Montgomery, a MHSAA 2A favorite from Loyd Star, acquired two wins in a span of 48 hours, winning the Ole Brook Invitational and the Cathedral XC Twilight. 

-Emily Ireland, the No. 7 ranked runner on the All-MileSplit Mississippi XC Girls team, opened up her season with a win at the Ole Brook Invitational. 

-Pearl's Katherine Neal won the High School Girls 3200m at the XC Challenge Under the Stars, hosted by Pearl High School

-All-MileSplit Mississippi team members William Fugate and Ella Rankin both opened up their seasons with wins at the 2023 Scott County Invitational. 

-It was a classic MHSAA vs. MAIS battle at the 2023 Park Place Christian Invitational as hometown favorite Christopher Atkinson displayed a monster kick against South Jones' Zachary Josiah Nobles, winning in a time of 17:18 to Nobles' 17:22.

Sub-16 5K(XC) performer Jack Hewes of Saint Patrick opened up his season with a win, recording a 2-mile of 10:31 at the Saint Stanislaus Cross Country course in Biloxi, Miss.