Paced by a top 15 finish from Esmeralda Rodriguez, the Lafayette Lady Commodores finished sixth in the Tupelo Invitational cross country meet held Saturday. The Commodores finished eighth overall in the meet that included several Class 4A, 5A and 6A schools.
Rodriguez finished the 2.5 mile race in 17 minutes, 05 seconds. She was followed by Rachel Starnes, who was 24th with a 17:33. Peyton Hamann was 25th with a 17:37, while Taylor Selby and Shantel Pope rounded out the top five finishers for the Lady Commodores with a 22:07 and 23:18 respectively.
Derek Hart led the Commodores by recording another personal best time of 18:50, which placed him 27th overall. Sam Faulkner followed Hart with a time of 21:45. Will Alexander followed with a 22;16, Jacob Roberts recorded a 22:20, while T.J. Hollis rounded out the top five with a 22:26. Kris Crow, Josh Bussom and T.J. Parsons also ran in the meet.
Julianna Mikell and Nikki Kesler both competed for the junior high Lady Commodores. Kesler was the top finisher for the second straight week. She finished 15th overall with a 15:40. Mikell, meanwhile, finished with an 18:57.
The junior high boys team finished sixth overall and were led by Wes Brown with a time of 14:12. Nic Hollis, a sixth-grader, finished 45th overall with a 14:27. Christian Foster was 60th with a 14;48, Addison Roush turned in a 15:12, while Foster Roush rounded out the top five with a 15:17. Nathan Hollis, Ryan Mardis, Casey Wood, Grayson Mays and Vincent Bruno all competed for Lafayette.
“This kind of competition is so good for us. Everyone knows the best cross country in the state is in North Mississippi and all the best teams were at this meet,” LHS coach Ben Mikell said. “If you can compete here, you can compete just about anywhere and we held our own.”
Both varsity teams will return to action Saturday in the East Union meet held in New Albany. (September 27, 2011, Page 7)