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Oxford cross-country boys claim 5A state title

The trophies keep piling up at Oxford High School. After volleyball claimed their first state championship in 18 years last week, the Chargers’ boys cross-country team picked another one for the school in seven days.

Oxford won the MHSAA Class 5A boys state meet at Choctaw Trails in Jackson on Saturday morning. The Chargers won with 36 points, 39 points better than runner-up Brookhaven (75 points) and 43 points better than defending champion Saltillo (79).

“We had a shot last year, but for some reason we just didn’t put it all together on the meet day,” Oxford coach Chris Patton said. “We weren’t going to let it slip out of our hands this year. That was our drive in the summer and into the fall.”

Oxford had four runners place inside the Top-10 with Kyle Rock placing third with a time of 17 minutes flat in the 5K race. Jonathan Tyler placed sixth (17:05.8), John Owen Yoste seventh (17:17) and Malik Lawson came in eighth (17:24.4). Charles “Chip” Powell placed 12th (17:36.5), Scott Brown placed 17th (17:48.7) and Owen Bruce placed 19th (17:56.6) to round out the Oxford runners.

It was the fourth state championship since 2011 for the boys team and their eighth state title overall.

“We just put everything together,” Patton said. “Everybody ran their best and we came out victorious”

Girls take second

It was going to be a tough challenge to usurp the Saltillo girls from atop their thrown and the Oxford girls team tried their best but the Tiger runners proved too much. The Chargers placed runner-up with 77 points, 48 points shy of Saltillo’s winning mark of 49.

“I thought they performed very well,” Patton said of the girls performance. “They hadn’t been competitive from the start of the races like we should’ve been. I think (Saturday) we went in the right direction of doing that.”

Sophomore Addie Thompson was the top finisher for Oxford as the lone runner in the Top-10, placing seventh with a time of 20:51.7. Junior Ally Shinall was the next best, coming in 12th place (21:21.8) with McCall Mullins placing 16th (21:51.4), Katelyn Rock 18th (21:57.5), Sarah Perry 24th (22:35) and ninth-grader Patricia Hughes placed 40th (23:48.2). Senior Swayze Elliott placed 45th with a time of 24:08.5 to round out the Oxford runners.