Kaelin Kersh 800m Race

Kaelin Kersh was an 800-meter runner just like her father and coach, George Kersh. Running under her father's skillful direction at Pearl High School, to say Kaelin was an outstanding athlete is by far an understatement. She possessed an effortless stride and technique that made her appear as if she wasn't running, but floating--and as she ran, she boasted a champion form with her head tilted to the side-just like her dad. Kaelin held the Class 5A title in the 800 meters in 2012 and 2013. She also competed in the 400 meters, 4x200 and 4x400, all while also contending as an All-State cross-country runner. Kaelin's personal best in the 800 meters was accomplished at the Jace-Lacoste Invitational with a time of 2:13.11. 

As an integral component of the Mississippi State University's track team, Kaelin helped capture the team's first place ranking in the distance medley relay at the 2016 Alabama Relays. She was a vital part of the most successful era of MSU Women's Track & Field.

On May 5, 2017, Kaelin and her family celebrated as she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Health Fitness Studies from Mississippi State University's College of Education. However, not even two days later, her bright and beautiful life was tragically ended in a car accident. In her memory, The Kaelin Kersh Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established at MSU to assist female student athletes on the school's Track and Field team. Candidates for the award must demonstrate academic achievement and leadership qualities within the team. The perpetual support generated through the endowment will ensure that many future generations of Bulldogs can benefit from the scholarship award, while carrying on the legacy of the girl with the infectious smile.

Today, we celebrate Kaelin by hosting the states fastest girls 

800 race in her name. The Kailey Kersh 800m will showcase Mississippi's top prospects on all one track.

Below is an introduction to each runner and their recent accomplishments.

Alex Lee of Madison Central High School

Alex Lee is a sophomore at Madison Central and is the captain of the girls' cross country team and a committed leader on the track team. She currently has a PR of 5:08.40 in the 1600, 2:23 in the 800, and 18:59 in the 5k in cross country. She also excels in the classroom and made the ACT 30+ Club as a freshman. Alex is involved in her youth group at Bellwether Church and on the FCA leadership team at Madison Central. She also spends time serving with Madison Civinettes. When not running, Alex enjoys reading and playing the guitar.


Aurora Latimer of Brandon High School

Aurora Latimer is a senior mid-distance runner from Brandon High School. She competes in the 800 and 4x800 relay. Her personal best in the 800 this year is 2:26. She was selected to run in the 2022 and 2023 MS XC All state Meet and was named Cross Country All Region for 2022, 2023 and 2024.  Aurora is very honored to be a part of the 2024 Kaelin Kersh 800m Race.


Audrey Mayatte of East Rankin Academy

Audrey Mayatte is a junior at East Rankin Academy. She has run cross country and track for the Lady Patriots for the past 6 years and has led her team to 3 cross country state championships. She has a PR of 2:27.99 in the 800m, 5:21.78 in the 1600m and 12:04.43 in the 3200m. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and is her class Student Government representative. Audrey was selected to represent East Rankin at the Hugh O'Brien Leadership conference and will represent her school at the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State this summer.


Kaitlyn Burge of Hernando High School

Kaitlyn Burge of Hernando High School is the 2023 7A XC Champion and the XC Gatorade Player of the year for Mississippi. She has committed to run XC and track for Mississippi State University. She finished 2nd in the state meet in the 1600 in 2023and currently has a time of 2:18 for the 800m.


Lilly Overby of Simpson Academy

Lilly Overby is a sophomore at Simpson Academy.  She currently serves as class president with a 3.7 GPA, and is active in FCA, FBLA, Honor Society, Honors English and Diamond Dolls.  She is a HOBY Youth Leadership recipient and was chosen as Most Athletic and Sophomore Class Favorite this year. She was nominated for Gatorade Player of the Year for cross country this past season.  She has a personal best of 18:24 winning the 2023 MAIS 5A state cross country championship and finished the season ranked second in the state. This track season, she has reached personal bests of 2:20 in the 800 and 5:14 in the 1600.

Riz McBride of Madison-Ridgeland Academy 

Riz McBride is an 8th grader at Madison Ridgeland Academy.  She runs track and cross country and has led her cross country and track teams to 3 state championships over the last 3seasons at MRA. She has a PR of 2:23 in the 800, and finished 2nd at the 6A State track meet last year as a 7th grader.  In addition to running track and cross country, Riz is also a state champion swimmer and plays basketball.


Kynslea Hurst of Centreville Academy

Kynslea Hurst is an 8th grader at Centreville Academy. She has a Personal best of 2:28 in the 800, and finished 2nd in the 800 at the MAIS 4A State track meet last year as a 7th grader.  In addition to running track, Kynslea also plays softball and basketball.

Katherine Neal of Pearl High School

Katherine Neal is a senior at Pearl High School, She is a 2 timeCross country All-State competitor with a personal best of 19:11 in the 5k. She is also a member of the Pearl High School 4x800 school record team.  She has committed to run xc and track at Mississippi College.  She has personal bests of 2:23 in the 800, 5:11 in the 1600, and 11:48 in the 3200


Madeline Moore of Pearl High School

Madeline Moore is a sophomore at Pearl High School. She ran her personal best for the 800 with a time of 2:25 as an 8th grader. She is also a 2 time 4x800 relay champ and is a member of the school record team, which she also ran as an 8th grader. She also runs xc and has a PR of 20:26 in the 5K.