Ruston cross country with another impressive showing

CLINTON, Miss. — Even running in the incredibly competitive gold division, Ruston High’s cross country teams both had terrific places this weekend at the Mississippi College Watson Invitational in a 5K race.

The Bearcat boys team finished first place after beating two-time defending Mississippi 5A state champion Brookhaven 72-75, while the girls came in second to Dominican (New Orleans) by a final 89-101.

“This was our last regular season meet, and now we turn our focus to the championship meets,” Ruston head coach Dustin Cochran said. “We sent the kids into this one on very tired legs and asked them to execute and compete against some really, really good teams. I’m beyond proud of what I saw. They were engaged the whole race. There is a big hill at the finish of this course that’s ’s 200m long. Every one of our kids caught somebody coming up the hill.”

Caleb Babineaux finished second overall for the boys, while Lily Garrett finished eighth overall. Cole Maestrini caught five people on the last stretch of the race to overtake Brookhaven’s fifth finisher to put Ruston over the top and sealed the deal for the Bearcats against Brookhaven. 

“Not many teams have beaten them over the past three years,” Cochran said. “Their entire top five are seniors this year. We are very happy to have beaten such a good team. On to district!”

Scoring Results


Caleb Babineaux 2nd 15:46
Thomas Rogers 8th 16:13
Landon Byrd 18th 16:35
Nelson Blackburn 27th 16:42
Cole Maestrini 32nd 16:48


Lily Garrett 8th 19:06
Anna Naff 19th 19:51
Sydney Owens 20th 19:58
Parker Nations 30th 20:23
Zoie Holstead 35th 20:40

PHOTO CREDIT: Dr. Amy Vessell

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