It was hot last Saturday, really hot, when Winona competed at the French Camp Invitational cross country meet.
“It's hard to look at the times because it was so hot,” said Coach Chris McRae. “But what you can look at is the effort. Effort-wise, I am seeing a lot more at this point of the season than I had seen in the past, so I'm pretty excited about that.”
The girls team finished fifth with a team score of 112. Lafayette won the event with a score of 22, followed by French Camp (44), East Union (74), and Eupora (111).
Winona's top runner was Murry Catherine Alderman, an eighth grader, who finished 19th in 28:37.72 for 5,000 meters. She was followed by Zoe Pekoch, 29th in 31:00.1; Kayla Windham, 30th in 32:11.28; Bailey Holly, 32nd in 32:09.76; and Haylan White, 38th in 37:38.28. Mia Dawson of Lafayette was the individual winner in 21:05.81.
Winona boys did not have a team score because there was only one runner. Freshman Noah Durham was seventh in 21:31.61.
French Camp was the boys team winner and Bralan Williams the individual winner in 19:27.43.
“We're a young team,” McRae said. “Youngsters have to learn. That's just a fact. There are going to be some growing pains.”
There were also 3,200 meter middle school races. Winona took second in the boys race, trailing Choctaw County 34-53.
Conner Privitt was third with a time of 13:46. Nathan Henson seventh, Aidan Windham 14th, Jermorius Sanders 15th, Ahmaud Seawood 19th and Thomas Rosamond 23ed.
Winona girls runners were Anna Beth Walton, seventh, and Bella Durham, 19th.
Noah Durham and Privitt received shirts for their efforts. Shirts were given to the top eight in varsity races and top four in middle school races.
The next meet for Winona will be October 5 at Choctaw Trails, site for the state high school and middle school meets.