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Cross Country Preparation | Anna-Jonesboro girls and Herrin boys score wins | Sports


The Anna-Jonesboro High School women’s cross country team captured their own Trail of Tears Invitational on Saturday, edging out Herrin, who finished second. The Wildcats totaled a team-high 18 points to the Tigers’ 45. Just like golf, the lowest score is the best score in cross country competition. Other participating schools were: Harrisburg, Pope County and Goreville.

Goreville’s Molly Merrill took medal honors, placing first in 20 minutes, 47 seconds. AJ’s Zoe Jones was second in 21:23. AJ’s Kenzie Miller was third in 21:25. Herrin’s Ellary Blakey was fourth in 21:44 and AJ’s Kaylee Stover was fifth in 23:21. The Wildcats’ top two runners this fall — Brodie Denny and Reese Jones — have been barred from competing for more rest.

On the boys’ side, Herrin was the tag team champion with 41 points, passing the host Wildcats who had 46 points. The other participating teams were: Harrisburg, Pope County, Cobden, Goreville, West Frankfort and Agape Christian.

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The medalist was Eason Comer of Pope County with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds. Harrisburg’s Luke Winkleman was second in 18:05. Herrin’s Waylon Hall was third in 18:09. Cobden’s Brady Bundren was fourth in 18:25 and Herrin’s Braden Hudgens was fifth in 18:29.

“The kids all ran in the pouring rain,” said AJ coach Matt Denny. “I challenged our kids and they responded well. The girls ran much better than they did in Murphysboro earlier in the week.”