Four DeSoto County cross country teams started their seasons Saturday, Aug. 19 at the South Panola Invitational meet in Batesville. Runners from Hernando, Lewisburg, Olive Branch and DeSoto Central were part of the field at the meet.
Hernando runners finished one-two in both the boys’ and girls’ 5,000 meter events. Graham Weiss was first among boys with a 16:52.17 time, followed by teammate Trace Thornhill, a freshman, who was second in a time of 18:29.12, about three seconds faster than third-place finisher Jackson Dickerson of Lewisburg at 18:32.86. Caden Louder of Olive Branch rounded out the top five in fifth place.
Austin Simpson of DeSoto Central was the Jaguars’ top boys’ runner in sixth place.
Hernando won the team championship with a score of 41 points, five better than second-place Senatobia with 46. DeSoto Central took fourth with 98 points and Lewisburg followed at 127 points.
Hernando also took a one-two finish on the girls’ side, thanks to Kaitlyn Burge, who won the 5,000 meter run in a time of 19:15.91. She was followed by freshman teammate Kyleigh Carter, who was second in a time of 21:02.19. Kaydi Blanchard of Lewisburg finished fourth in a time of 22:38.19. DeSoto Central’s top runner was sophomore Layla McGuire, who took seventh place in a clocking of 22:52.77.
Lewisburg was the team champion with 47 points, just four points ahead of second-place Hernando at 51. DeSoto Central took third at 73 points and Olive Branch did not run for team scores. The leading Olive Branch runner was Ghazel Salim, a freshman, who finished with a time of 33:08.01.