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Teams gather this weekend for Northeast Lauderdale Invitational

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
Oct. 11, 2002
Thirteen cross-country teams will gather at Northeast Park on Saturday morning for the Northeast Lauderdale Invitational.
The meet will be the biggest meet and the first of its kind in Meridian.
The invitational will begin with the junior varsity girls' run at 9 a.m. The JV boys will follow at around 9:30. Then the varsity meets will begin with the girls starting around 10:15. After the girls are finished, the boys will start at 11 a.m.
Ribbons and medals will be given out to runners after the meet. Trophies from Judge Little will be given to the first and second place finishers in both the girls and boys run. A trophy will also be given to the first place finisher in the two JV runs.
The event should be highly competitive with strong teams coming into the area. Wayne County and Meridian High should be two of the favorites in the girls' run. Newton County and Starkville also expect to do well.
Neshoba Central and Starkville are the favorites in the boys' event, but a lot of teams could play spoiler during the meet.
The other teams that will compete will be Northeast Lauderdale, Lawrence County, Newton High, Quitman, Clarkdale, Union and Carthage. The girls from Wayne County will compete and Forest will have one runner competing in the boys' event.
There should be a lot of good high school runners ready to go on Saturday morning. Northeast's Melissa Brents would have been on of the favorites to finish first in the girls' run, but will not compete because she was invited to visit Ole Miss during it's invitational.
The absence of Brents should make the girls' race for first very interesting. Mandy McGrevey of Newton County is a bit of a favorite in the run.
Peter Davidson is the favorite in the boys' race, but could have some competition on his hands. Younger runners Brandon LaBue of Forest and Chris Martin of Clarkdale are solid runners that should give Davidson a good race.
The boys will run 5000 meters which is about 3.1 miles while the girls will be running 4000 meters or 2.5 miles.
It will be one of the first meets that the girls will have to run 4000 meters. In the past the girls' run has been shorter but this year the girls have to adjust to a longer race.
The girls will begin behind the soccer fields at Northeast Park. The runners will travel down and around to Northeast Elementary. They will then leave through the back entrance and cut through near the Northeast Park tennis courts. After a lap on the outside of the softball fields and the soccer fields, the competitors will finish near the starting point.
The boys will follow the same path, but will make a loop around the softball fields before going towards the elementary schools.
The meet will be one of the final tuneups before district meets start for the schools. Most teams will have district runs on Nov. 2 and then finish with championship meets on Nov. 9. The invitational should be a good chance for the runners to get some more work in.